Milner Saves Huddersfield to Earn First Victory of Season
A last-minute penalty was enough to scrape the first victory of the season for Huddersfield RUFC against North Lincolnshire side Scunthorpe, and Head Coach Gareth Lewis saw signs of his side “getting their mojo back” after a slow start to the season.
The game kicked off with both teams itching to draw first blood early on. But neither team could drive the ball into the final third.
In recent weeks Huddersfield have been prone to giving away avoidable penalties, and this week another penalty amounted to the visitors scoring the first points of the afternoon.
The penalty was kicked for a line out for Scunthorpe, Will Harrison managed to break from the resulting maul and dart over the line to put Scunthorpe 5-0 up.
Huddersfield’s Nicholas Sharpe was persistent in getting to the try line after Scunthorpe’s strong attempts to defend, he bundled the ball over to score and Will Milner converted to see the home side go ahead 7-5 in the 16th minute.
Joshua Bird of Scunthorpe performed a nice dummy to break clear from the Field defence and score; the finished conversion saw the visitors retain the lead to 7-12 with 10 minutes left of the first half.
Milner converted a penalty for Field, then a nice interchange between Elliot Knight and Tom Hodson gave Knight room to sprint over the line and put his side 15-12 up going into the break.
Huddersfield struggled to capitalise on their momentum in the second half which Lewis criticized after the game, “we were guilty of handing the ball back to Scunthorpe too easily through individual errors which was frustrating at times”.
After a long mid-pitch battle, Field were slow to catch Scunthorpe’s Will Harrison as he burst through with a 30-metre run to score and convert. Oliver Cole also sprung over the line in the 65th minute to put Scunthorpe 15-24 up with 15 minutes left on the clock.
But Field put themselves back in touching distance of the visitors, rugged work from field after a line out made way for Alex Parfitt to score and Milner to convert and put the score at 22-24
Flashes of inspiration came from Lewis’ side, but despite tremendous efforts, Huddersfield just couldn’t reach the line- and as the clock counted down the final seconds it looked like a result had gone.
As Field continued to pile on the pressure, the Scunthorpe defence gave away a penalty at the 22-metre line for the final kick of the game.
In a completely silent Lockwood park, Will Milner broke the suspense by converting to gift his side all the points in a 25-24 win.
On the win Gareth Lewis stated: “Despite the performance this result showed the lads have enormous resilience and character. The game looked dead and buried but they found a way to win which is crucial. We still have plenty of work to do to reach the levels we are capable of but I’m looking for us to kick on from this result”.