Plenty of positives but Field fail to find cutting edge.
Rotherham Titans hosted Huddersfield having suffered defeats against promotion rivals in their two previous games. The first of them, by Fylde, was their first loss on home soil since the team dropped into National 2 North in 2020.
The Titans bounced back in the Yorkshire derby and produced a 27-3, form book win, with three tries in the first half hour giving them a firm grip on the game. Two more in the second half secured the bonus point and wrapped up victory.
For their part, Huddersfield put up a spirited display and gave the former Premiership outfit a run for their money, which quietened the normally vociferous Clifton Lane crowd.
Despite defeat, Huddersfield’s Director of Rugby, Gaz Lewis, had some positive things to say about his team’s performance. “Today was a tough afternoon to take. Early on our indiscipline created opportunities for them to kick to the corner, where they built powerful driving mauls, from which they scored three tries.
After that our defence held firm on the whole, but we lacked the composure to threaten their line when we entered their 22.
I thought our front five were outstanding in the scrummage. We faced a number of front row players with experience at the highest level, but Callum Thompson, Liam Stapley, Loz Sanderson, Luke Pearson and Eddie Brown really fronted up, which bodes well for upcoming games.
Rotherham’s tactics to go aerial, from the scrum half, meant our back three had a busy afternoon. Lewis Workman, Fin Stewart and Tom Lee all had assured performances in the back field.”
Prop, Dan Rylance, got the scoring underway for the Titans, dotting down in the third minute at the back of a maul. Ten minutes later, centre Richard Hayes added a second try from close range, nipping over from the back of a ruck. A third, by winger Jack Hedley, came on the half hour following a line break by full back Sam Veall. Hayes missed the target with all three of his conversion attempts.
Field were not without their opportunities. They were getting good set piece ball from the scrummages and Ed Barber made some promising breaches of the Titan’s defensive line. Skipper Lewis Bradley secured some excellent turnovers, but, his team couldn’t find the same clinical edge that had given the home side their advantage.
A Will Milner penalty put Field onto the score board 10 minutes after the interval and for half an hour they battled hard to get themselves back into the game.
On 69 minutes Titans took possession deep inside their own half. Moments later, a neat passage of play ended with winger, Luckas Sableman-Blue, cashing in with the bonus point try, which Hayes converted from the touchline.
A final, unconverted try by Number 8, Zak Poole, in the last minute, gave the Titans a somewhat flattering, 24 points, winning margin.
Next week Field take on Wharfedale at Lockwood Park, kick off 2.15pm. Field currently lie second from bottom in the table and Lewis sees the match as an opportunity to start making upward progress. He said, ‘We must remain tight as a group and train and prepare well. It is a game we are capable of winning.’
Huddersfield: Lee; Workman, Law; Barber; Milner; Wilson; F Stewart; Thompson; Stapley; Sanderson; Pearson; Brown; Myers; Bradley (capt.); Jennings. Replacements: Rollins; Effiom; Swift; Catleugh; Potter.
Written by Richard Sykes.
Photo courtesy of Rotherham Advertiser.