Despite a late comeback bid, the Falcons fell to their first defeat of the season against Otley in slippery conditions at Lockwood Park.
The visiting side struck first in the 15th minute. A barrage of twenty-something phases on the Huddersfield tryline eventually created the space for an Otley forward to slide between a pair of legs and over the paint. Con scored.
Otley extended their lead five minutes later against a Huddersfield team that were struggling to adapt to the torrential conditions. An Otley back used his quick feet to find a rare gap in the defence and dive to the left of the posts. Con scored.
Fourteen points down, the Falcon’s started to wake up and create some momentum of their own by reverting to the basics and keeping it simple. Unfortunately, significant injuries to three key players made sure any newfound confidence was abruptly put on hold.
Otley used this disruption to their advantage, scoring their third of the afternoon whilst the Huddersfield fullback lay down twenty meters away with a head injury. Con scored.
Half was soon called by the ref and the weather somehow got worse.
Otley earned their bonus point not too long after the second half whistle. An overlap on the right side was exploited by quick hands to the winger for a tap down in the corner. Con missed.
With twenty minutes to go, the weather finally decided to clear up and Huddersfield made it a mission to show that they weren’t willing to give up.
Huddersfield’s first try was started and finished by Darren Neilly. A quick tap and a ferocious run into the corner meant that Otley had to put their bodies on the line against a team who weren’t prepared to go down without a fight. In similar fashion to Otley’s first try, another onslaught of twenty-something phases allowed Darren to bully his way through a sea of bodies and put the ball onto the line. Con scored.
Re-invigorated by Darren’s heroics, the Falcons began to play with confidence again. Murmurs of “What if?” rumbled around Lockwood Park as Otley struggled with the newfound intensity.
The murmurs grew louder five minutes later as Darren scored his second. Holding tight at the back of a scrum, Darren followed the ever-dominating forward pack to touch the ball down in the corner. Con missed.
Huddersfield pressed and pressed, playing free flowing rugby that eventually resulted in a third try thanks to Ollie Scrimshaw rounding an incoming defender with a pirouette to score deep into the corner. Con missed.
Disappointingly, the question “What if?” was to be left with an unsatisfying answer as the ref blew the final whistle, leaving Huddersfield nine points shy of Otley.
Despite this scoreline, there are many positives that the Falcons can take into the season ahead. The forwards are a force to be reckoned with, the backs have a whole load of talent to showcase and each player showed great resilience to not roll over when the score seemed lost.
Hudderfield will be looking to get back to winning ways with an away trip to Dinnington next up in what promises to be an exciting season.
Tries: Neilly x 2, Scrimshaw. Cons: Scrimshaw
MotM: Darren Neilly