SHEFFIELD TIGERS 34 32 HUDDERSFIELD….MATCH REPORT- Heartbreak for Field as Tigers’ snatch late win.

 

Huddersfield produced a spirited team effort in their National 2 North match away from home at Sheffield Tigers. They scored 6 tries to Tigers’ 4, including a brace by hooker Ethan Myers, and held a deserved lead for most of the game. An outstanding performance by the Huddersfield pack gave them their advantage but the reliable boot of Tigers’ full back Will Baker kept them in touch. Huddersfield held an 8 point lead with 5 minutes remaining but a late converted try gave the hosts hope and Baker went on to steal the spoils with a 45 yard penalty in stoppage time.

For Huddersfield’s director of rugby Neil Ryan the game brought a mixture of emotions. Buoyed by the improved performance but disappointed by the final result he said, ‘I was pleased with the attitude and desire of the team. Our maul and scrum was a massive threat and we looked dangerous every time we attacked. We were also strong in defence. To score 6 tries away and not win is difficult, especially losing to the last kick of the game.’

Field put Tigers’ under pressure from the off, resulting in a yellow card for Tigers’ lock Dan Hawksworth and a red for centre Curtis Wilson for foul play in the opening minutes.

Field cashed in from the penalty following Hawksworth’s dismissal when Myers dotted down from the catch and drive from the lineout after which Baker opened Tigers’ account with a penalty.

Winger Max Horsfall increased Field’s lead with a corner flag try on 10 minutes and Myers got his second shortly after Wilson went for his early bath. Both tries were set up by more solid lineout work by the visitors. Centre Ed Barber then landed his one successful conversion with his only attempt not from a difficult angle.

Hooker Louis Townshend hit back against the run of play with Tigers’ first try which Baker converted before his team were reduced to 13 men for the remainder of the first half when lock Dominic Santamaria was sin binned for dangerous play.

Field Number 8 Luke Pearson secured the bonus point and wrapped up the first half scoring with a fine try from a close range maul to make the score 22 10 to the visitors at the interval

After half time Tigers’ changed tactics, spreading play with some back line moves and using the strong wind to gain ground with their kicking game.

Their enterprise was rewarded with quick fire tries by winger James Norman and Number 8 William Wallace in the third quarter, both of which were converted by Baker to give Tigers’ a 2 point lead on 55 minutes.

After the set backs Field steadied the ship and regained control with Paul Harrison coming on at scrum half producing brisk work leading to two tries in two minutes with time running out. Winger Xander Nash recaptured the lead, racing in for a try on an overlap and Harrison extended it with a sixth try after some neat interplay.

Harrison’s try left Tigers’ requiring two scores for victory. With time almost up replacement prop Karl Walker barrelled over for a try in the corner and Baker reduced the deficit to a single point with a fine conversion. When Field were penalised for holding on after the re-start Baker held his nerve and landed his long range kick to rob Field of a much needed win.

Next week Huddersfield play Fylde at Lockwood Park (kick off 2pm). Boosted by Saturday’s performance the team one place above Tigers’ in the table should hold no fear for much improved Field.

Huddersfield: Workman; Nash; Barber; Nicholson; Horsfall; Collins; Walker; Thompson; Myers; Rollins; Dawson; Barnard; Quinn; Haywood; Pearson. Replacements: Harrison; Neilly; Moore; Parfitt.

Written by Richard Sykes.

Photo by Ray Morris.

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