TYNEDALE WIN GAME OF ATTRITION IN LOCKWOOD PARK MUD.
Tynedale adapted well to the atrocious conditions at Lockwood Park and ran out worthy winners of their National 2 North match against Huddersfield. They scored three first half tries and returned to Northumberland with a 19 5 victory under their belt.
Ben Woods, Tynedale’s Head Coach, was delighted with the result. He said, “Everyone had written us off after the last two results but the players really came together today. I couldn’t have asked for any more. The pitch wasn’t great and the rain didn’t stop but our boys were fantastic, especially in the first half where we dominated the set pieces. We knew they would get some momentum back but we didn’t let them get near us in the second half, where they must have played 95% in our half.”
On a sodden pitch, the condition of which worsened considerably in the driving rain that persisted throughout the match, both teams showed total commitment and contrived to produce an entertaining spectacle for the folks who had braved the elements to attend the match.
Tynedale opened their account with a converted try in the first minute. From a lineout 10 metres from the Huddersfield line, hooker Ralph Johnstone dotted down after a driving maul, with scrum half Jay West landing the tricky conversion.
Huddersfield’s one and only score came five minutes later. Having grub kicked the ball forward into the Tynedale 22, the last defender slipped as he attempted to gather and Huddersfield centre Lewis Workman seized the moment, picking up neatly and diving over in the corner. Will Milner’s conversion attempt was wide of the mark.
The visitors then scored two more tries before the game was half an hour old. West went over in the left hand corner for the first of them and centre Will Miller added the second. After a decisive centre field break by the Tynedale forwards, Miller finished the move close to the posts and West added the extras.
Huddersfield started the second half brightly and with the driving wind and rain at their backs they kept the pressure on throughout the final forty minutes. They got the upper hand in the scrummages and pushed the Tynedale pack close to their line. Despite forcing penalty concessions and pegging their visitors back by kicks to touch, Huddersfield couldn’t capitalise on their territorial advantage. Tynedale’s defence proved resolute and held firm.
Hopes of a second Huddersfield score were raised on 65 minutes. A fine break by scrum half Jonny Mason took play into the Tynedale 22 but Field knocked on at the breakdown. Tynedale cleared their lines with a decent kick which fell into the hands of winger Kian Stewart. He ran and side stepped his marker and was clean through, but the referee ruled that Tynedale hadn’t gained any advantage and blew up for the knock on.
That was as close as Huddersfield got to a consolation. The game of attrition was played out in the mud, with neither side letting their efforts dip, right up to the final whistle.
After the game Huddersfield Head Coach Gaz Lewis said, “sometimes in rugby you are better without the ball and I think there was an element of that today. Tynedale managed the atrocious conditions better than we did. They had a well organised driving maul and capitalised on our errors. At times we were our own worst enemy as we tried to play too much football, inviting pressure on ourselves.”
Huddersfield take on title contenders, Stourbridge, at Lockwood Park next Saturday.
Huddersfield: Hodson; Stewart; Workman; Milner; Brook A; Potter; Thompson; Thornton; Smith; Pearson; Sharpe; Davis; Parfitt; Bradley. Replacements: Sanderson; Brown; Stapley; Law; Mason.
Written by Richard Sykes.
Photos by Gareth Lyons. See all of Gareth’s photos from the game here.