HUDDERSFIELD MAULED BY TIGERS.
Huddersfield slumped to their biggest defeat of the season against high flying Sedgley Park Tigers at Park Lane. The hosts notched 12 tries, with hat tricks by wingmen Rhys Henderson and Jamie Harrison, in an emphatic 80 points to 5 win.
Afterwards, Huddersfield Head Coach, Gaz Lewis, said it wasn’t acceptable to concede 80 points, even to a very good side. ‘Although we were depleted today everyone needs to take a long, hard look at themselves. The next two games are away matches we are capable of winning and we must get back on the horse and prepare well.’
The match was originally scheduled for December but fell victim to a COVID outbreak and Field made Saturday’s trip to Greater Manchester without several of their first string regulars.
It didn’t start well for the visitors, who were 14 points down after just ten minutes. Directly from the kick off Tigers’ full back Andrew Riley raced through the Field defence from inside his own half for a superb solo try. Harrison then scored the first of his four, in similar fashion, with fly half, Steven Collins, bagging two of his four first half conversions.
After the early set backs Huddersfield settled, with forwards Ed Brown, Lewis Bradley and Liam Stapley putting in particularly noticeable shifts, and Matt Law looking nimble in the centre.
Field matched their hosts in the scrums throughout. Flanker, Leighton Davis, playing out of position, did a good job of locking out the scrummages in the second row, alongside Luke Pearson, and when Tigers were penalised under their posts Field declined an easy three points and opted to keep up the pressure by choosing to scrummage. The ball came back cleanly and was worked through a couple of phases but possession was eventually lost and their side of the score sheet remained blank.
Sedgley Park ended the first half as strongly as they had started it, running in three more tries and adding two more conversions. Front rowers Matthew Gallagher and Cashel Chilvers powered over for the first and last of the tries, with Henderson rounding the defence to touch down in the corner for the other. This left the score 33-0 at half time.
Two minutes into the second half Harrison raced down the left wing for the second of his tries, after which the visitors managed to steady their ship.
Haris Hussain came on at prop for Field and Tigers’ conceded a penalty at the next scrum. This set up the first of three good, attacking lineout positions inside the Tigers’ 22, The throw wasn’t straight and play returned to the Huddersfield half. The next two, the second of which came from an excellent 50/22 kick by full back Cameron Catleugh, yielded clean ball but the visitors were unable to make meaningful gains from their possession.
The Tigers roared back and for the rest of the game Field were left chasing shadows. Their pacey backs cut loose, running in six more tries with clockwork regularity. Henderson and Harrison completed their hat tricks with centre Oli Glasse and scrum half Jacob Tansy also scorching through gaps as Huddersfield heads started to drop.
The late one way traffic was broken on 70 minutes when Huddersfield winger Phil Cadogan rounded off a good attack with an excellent corner flag try. The last play of the game ended in Harrison’s fourth try, with Glasse, who had taken over kicking duties in the second half, landing his fifth conversion, from wide out.
Sedgley Park’s win leaves them in second place in the National 2 North table, just five points behind leaders Hull. The two teams meet next week on Humberside. Huddersfield remain second from bottom with a visit to Sheffield Tigers next up.
Huddersfield: Catleugh; Cadogan; Nunn; Law; Knight; Brook A; Potter; Thompson; Stapley; Smith; Pearson; Davis; Parfitt; Bradley; Brown. Replacements: Brook L; Hampshire; Hussain; Sedgwick.
Written by Richard Sykes.
Photo by Gareth Lyons.