A HARSH LESSON FOR FIELD AT LIGHTFOOT GREEN
Huddersfield’s poor start to their National 2 North campaign took a turn for the worse when they suffered their heaviest defeat of the season, going down 32 12 to Preston Grasshoppers at Lightfoot Green.
The match remained scoreless for almost half an hour, and although Hoppers took the lead with a try by prop Oliver Trippier, converted by fly half, Ben Pearson, it wasn’t until the final quarter that the game slipped from Huddersfield’s grasp.
Field’s Director of Rugby Gaz Lewis, said, ‘It was a very disappointing defeat. We were out desired by Preston, who thoroughly deserved the win. We let them off the hook early doors and didn’t impose ourselves on the game after that. It was a harsh lesson.’
After starting the second half only 7 points down, Field closed the gap almost immediately with an unconverted try by flanker Liam Parfitt. It was a forward orientated effort, which stemmed from a lineout inside the Hoppers 22. Although Hoppers extended their lead, with a Pearson penalty on 68 minutes, Field had the chance to cancel it out moments later. However, rather than take a comfortable 3 points from a penalty on the 22, the visitors decided to chance their arm by going for a try with a kick to touch.
Field’s tactic didn’t work, they lost possession after the throw in and Hoppers took play up the park and scored a second try. Lock Alistair Murray was the man to touch down, with Pearson adding the extras.
Pearson then extended the lead with another penalty five minutes later but Field struck back with a try by prop, Manny Effiom, which put the visitors back in the game with 6 minutes left on the clock. A penalty provided the platform of an attacking 5 metre lineout, from which the ball was passed in field, where Effiom cut through near to the posts. The conversion was a formality for Milner.
However, Field didn’t threaten the Hoppers line again and the home side secured a try scoring bonus with a brace of tries at the death. Winger Will Clapham and replacement Harry Holden dotted down, with Pearson converting the final try.
For Hoppers it was a first win of the season and lifts them out of the relegation places. For Field it was a fourth successive defeat, which leaves them second from bottom. Harrogate, who are next week’s visitors to Lockwood Park, prop up the table.
There were yellow cards in the game for Huddersfield’s Tom Lee and Lewis Bradley and Sam Gale and Edward Keohane from Preston.
Huddersfield: Rollins; Stapley; Effiom; Pearson; Jones; Parfitt; Bradley; Brown; Wilson; Law; Stewart F; Milner; Workman; Catleugh; Lee. Replacements: Davis; Dawson; Brook; Potter.
Written by Richard Sykes.
Photo by Mick Craig.