Huddersfield rise up the table with first win in three.
Huddersfield RUFC allowed Lockwood park to breathe a sigh of relief, after overcoming Loughborough Students 25-19 in a closely contested locking of horns between the two National Division 2 North sides.
Loughborough came into the fixture with momentum in their stride, having managed to score 48 points to beat Wharfedale in there last outing. But the recently relegated National 1 side were met by a Huddersfield team in which Gareth Lewis had urged to “sustain the intensity” of last weeks’ bright spells at top of the league side Caldy.
Fans only had to blink to miss the visitors opening the scoring. The youthful Loughborough side showed pace and intent in their opening play, Field were left on their heels as the opposition winger weaved through the home side to score in the opening 2 minutes.
But Huddersfield showed no signs of lowered spirit. Tom Hodson set an inspired example on his home return back from injury. After beating the Loughborough man to the kick, Hodson fled from the line on half way with his trade mark speed, and shook off the lone man standing between himself and the line to score. Will Milner completed his duties on the conversion to put Huddersfield ahead 7-5.
The entire starting XV for Huddersfield applied the pressure and intensity Gareth Lewis had asked for in abundance, with the home side pinning the visitors back into their final third for the entirety of the 40 minutes. Head coach Lewis commented on the “excellent pressure through our phase play and kicking”.
The only thing left for Huddersfield to do, was capitalise. And that they did. A whisper before half time, Lewis Workman provided the goods at Lockwood park once again, a fine offload opened space for Workman to run in under the posts and put Field into a healthy 17-5 lead at half time.
Loughborough came into second half in search of blood. And Will Kaye blew away Huddersfield with admirable speed, running virtually untouched from his own half to close the gap to 17-12.
Despite the damage, Field remained unified and disciplined in their search of a first victory in 3 games, and this was brilliantly exemplified in their next attack. As Huddersfield rucked over, a heavy number of players committed to the maul- and the whole of Lockwood Park seemingly pushed their side over the line as captain Dickie Piper finally touched the ball down to increase the deficit once again.
But it wasn’t to be given up easily by Loughborough, a penalty try was awarded to them from the scrum- meaning it was all to play for in a heated final ten minutes.
Tensions were high, and the game threatened to reach boiling point going into the final moments of the match, with a Huddersfield player being sin binned leaving the home side a man lighter for the remainder of the game.
But Lockwood park could breathe a sigh of relief, when Will Milner converted a penalty in the final kick of the game to seal all the points in a 25-19 victory.
The win puts lifts Huddersfield out of the relegation places, and puts them in the driving seat going into next week’s vital fixture against Luctonians, who sit a place below in the table.
Gareth Lewis commented “despite a poor start this was a very good performance. Today’s fixtures meant we needed to get the win so we are very pleased, but next week’s game against Luctonians carries more importance and we must prepare well once again”.