HUDDERSFIELD COMPLETE DOUBLE OVER HARROGATE.
Huddersfield produced a determined second half show to overturn a half time deficit against Harrogate at Rudding Lane. They scored 14 unanswered points in the final forty minutes to win the National 2 North basement battle by 21 points to 13.
Harrogate made the better start and seven minutes into the game, took the lead, with a penalty by scrum half Kit Keith. Field then settled into their game and mounted some promising attacking moves, but none of them yielded points.
After a quarter of an hour, Field turned down the chance to equalise when they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, opting instead to kick to touch. As with their earlier threatening endeavours, the scoring opportunity was lost when the ball was knocked on.
Huddersfield’s failure to score put wind into Harrogate sails. After taking a long clearance kick, full back Cameron Bainbridge made an excellent 40 yard break. The ball was worked to the left wing where prop, Tom Baxter, latched on to it and dived over the whitewash. However, the try was disallowed because of a forward pass.
On the half hour an excellent defensive catch by Field winger, Sam Nunn, and a fine 30 yard break by Number 8, Ed Brown took play back into the Harrogate half. Although the move ended with another knock on, Field remained on the front foot. When possession was regained, flanker Harvey Keighley-Payne gave Field the lead with a corner flag try, which Will Milner converted from a very difficult angle.
Two minutes later Harrogate were back in front when winger, Ben Raubitschek, chased down his own kick through the Huddersfield defensive line for a try, which Keith converted.
An error strewn first half, which both teams contributed to in equal measure, came to an end with another successful penalty by Keith, to make the score at the interval, Harrogate 13 Huddersfield 7.
After their invigorated start to the second half the visitors’ efforts were rewarded after just three minutes. Nunn ended a move, which saw the ball passed full width, from left to right, with a try in the corner. Milner missed the conversion,
Huddersfield skipper, Lewis Bradley, was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on directly in front of the posts shortly afterwards. Instead of taking the points from the penalty Harrogate opted for a scrum but were unable to take advantage of their extra man. After getting clean ball they were penalised at the first ruck and Field cleared their lines. Milner then extended Field’s lead with two successful penalties midway through the final forty minutes.
Harrogate had a chance to establish a good attacking position when they were awarded a penalty on half way after 70 minutes. However, an athletic leap and flick by Nunn kept the ball in play and Field put the pressure back on their hosts. Harrogate then conceded another penalty and Milner decided to take a crack at goal from five metres inside his own half. His valiant attempt bounced back off the crossbar.
Twice in quick succession, Harrogate were guilty of kicking directly into touch. When play was brought back for a Huddersfield lineout the second time, Harrogate were penalised at the breakdown on their own 22 and Milner added another three points.
The final minutes of the game were played out uneventfully and a rather untidy game of rugby came to its end.
Huddersfield’s win and Blaydon’s defeat by Stourbridge means that the two teams have changed positions at the foot of the league table, with Harrogate still firmly rooted at the bottom. Next week Huddersfield host title contenders Rotherham Titans.
Huddersfield: Hodson; Knight; Workman; Milner; Nunn; Law; Mason; Thompson; Stapley; Smith; Pearson; Sharpe; Keighley- Payne; Bradley(c); Brown. Replacements: Davis; Walker; Catleugh; Potter; Brook L.
Written by Richard Sykes.
‘We are delighted to get the win. Both teams made errors throughout but we were deserved winners. Whilst Lewis Bradley was in the sin bin we really fought for each other and made the most of our numerical disadvantage. We have some tough games in the final rounds but we will keep battling right up until the last game.’
Gaz Lewis (Head Coach Huddersfield RUFC)
Photo by Ray Morris…Harvey Keighley-Payne, ‘Man of the Match’.