Poor defence very costly for Field.
Huddersfield suffered a humiliating 62-19 defeat by Fylde at the Woodlands Memorial Stadium in National Division 2 North on Saturday. Both sides went into the game having lost their last five but it was last year’s runners up Fylde who came out on top.
Tries by Josh Walker, Lewis Quinn and Callum Thompson provided some hope and consolation for Field but they leaked eight with poor play which the team’s director of rugby Neil Ryan branded as “defensively shocking. The defeat leaves Huddersfield rooted at the foot or the table with only one win so far this season.
Fylde got on the scoreboard first with a try in the 8th minute. Fullback Tom Carleton burst through the field defence after some promising combative play from both teams. Fly half Greg Smith converted with ease.
Field’s response was rapid. In the 10th minute scrum half Walker provided the magic to draw the sides level. Orchestrating the play just inside the Fylde half, Walker squeezed through some space and deftly chipped the ball over the Fylde defence. He then chased his kick, collecting it before sliding over the try line. Joe Gallagher’s conversion then levelled the scores.
That was as positive as it got for Field in the first half with Ryan saying his team “defended for long periods ineffectively”.
After a collapsed scrum Greg Smith then put away a penalty kick in the 16th minute to restore Fylde’s lead heralding a further barrage of points for the home side.
Fylde’s powerful runners moved the ball quickly and and left Field floundering and punishing them with two tries in quick succession. Ethan Hall- Lyon cut inside from the right flank and evaded a couple of challenges before scoring. Corey Bowker then ran through untouched to bag his team’s third try.
Smith converted both tries and kicked a penalty in the 34th minute when Huddersfield Number 8 Billy Hammond was yellow carded for two consecutive fouls in the 22.
A driving maul from a line out was bundled over by Ollie Parkinson for the bonus point score and Smith added the extras on the stroke of half time to leave Huddersfield 34-7 down at the break.
Field made enforced changes early in the second half when Gallagher and Walker had to depart with injuries. They and were replaced by Joe Potter and Paul Harrison.
Fields defence was tested early in the second half and looked to be more resolute. They kept Fylde out through multiple phases before eventually succumbing to the pressure. Ben Gregory lunged over bodies to pop the ball over the try line and Smith’s conversion extended the lead.
Field showed some fight however and moved the ball well, driving up-field into attacking positions. After two penalties and an age of pressure inside Fylde’s 22, Callum Thompson used his strength to power over for his team’s second try which Joe Potter converted to make it 41-14.
Harry Moore, Alex Dawson and Andy Rollins replaced Thiu Barnard, Harry Whitfield and a strapped-up Callum Thompson and Field continued to press. Their endeavour was rewarded when Lewis Quinn evaded tackles and wriggled through after a line out inside the Fylde 22 for a third try for Field. Potter just missed the conversion from a tight angle.
With ten minutes to go after continuing to battle for a try scoring bonus some tired legs began to show for Field. Gregory drove the ball over the line after a line out for his second try which was duly converted by the reliable Smith.
After some pushing and shoving in the 75th minute Huddersfield skipper Ed Barber was sent off
and Fylde immediately capitalised on their extra man advantage with a converted try by Toby Harrison.
Gregory then got his hat trick just before full time which Smith converting to keep his 100% kicking record and secure a dominant 62-19 win for Fylde.
Neil Ryan lamented, ‘Despite us having a bit more of the ball and scoring some tries in the second half we weren’t good enough.’
Huddersfield host Preston Grasshoppers in a National 2 North basement battle. Grasshoppers are just one place above them in the table and they will be hoping to rectify their recent results.
Huddersfield: Collins; Stewart F; Workman; Barber; Ryder; Gallagher; Walker; Thompson; Myers; Whitfield; Pearson; Barnard; Davis; Quinn; Hammond. Replacements: Rollins; Potter; Dawson; Moore; Harrison.
Written by Daniel Allerton