Pontefract 12-22 Huddersfield Falcons
The Falcons earned a hard fought victory to close their league campaign and season with a bonus point win.
Throughout the 80 Pontefract played a simple yet very abrasive game. Big carriers running straight lines was the basic game plan contrasting with Huddersfield who came to play the sparkling rugby of last week’s Sandal victory.
It looked like Huddersfield’s zip and rugby skill would overcome their hosts with ease when Joe Hawdon at 9 scored a classic scrum half try after five minutes. A snipe from 5 metres after some powerful forward drives was a good start. Conversion missed. 5-0 Field
However, some uncharacteristic weak tackling saw two tries for Ponte in quick succession. A typical rugby league like charge from their big second row saw him ghost through flailing arms to dot down. Conversion missed 5-5.
Five minutes later the same player was on the end of a quick tap and touched down under the posts almost untouched. The conversion made it 12-5 Ponte at half time.
Changes at half time saw Arthur Wilkinson, Steve Parry and Andy Lyon enter the contest. Field now came to terms with the hard running Ponte lads – Wilkinson almost chopping his opposite centre in half with his first contribution.
Within 5 minutes the tide turned and Joe Morrison had a mazy run down the right handing off half the opposition to score a great try. Conv missed 12-10 Ponte.
With their basic game now coming up against some tough defending Ponte lost composure altogether. Swinging arms and abrasive play at the breakdown risked the game degenerating in a free for all. After one such swinging high shot Danny Hood did well to keep his jaw – the ref had little choice but give a straight red.
With a little more space Field looked dangerous whenever they had the ball. Leighton Davis was next to score on the right after Josh Walker, now at nine, spotted him in space and whipped out a lovely pass. Conv missed 12-15 to Field.
Ponte raised their aggression and another red followed after a nasty headbutt to Andy Lyon in midfield. Ponte now down to 13 and it looked like Huddersfield would run away with it.
Arthur Wilkinson ghosted over for a good score after a powerful drive from Jo Sheil was held up but recycled. Conv Newt 12-22 Falcons.
To be fair Ponte now scrambled and defended well though the breakdown remained questionable. Too often quick ball was spoiled by a flailing boot through the ruck or a body flopping over. When the ball did flow Field were a little guilty of trying to go wide too early. A niggly and frustrating last 20 saw the game fizzle out.
A tough and gutsy performance and a deserved victory.
Best wishes to John Sedgwick who left the field with a nasty ankle injury which may or may not have been broken………