Huddersfield 15-36 Sheffield….Match Report

Huddersfield stifled by steely first half performance from Sheffield.

Sheffield opened the scoring with a try in the first minute in their National 2 North match at Lockwood Park. Although Leighton Davis struck back with an equaliser for Huddersfield 5 minutes  later the visitors went on to dominate territory and possession in the first half and score 3 more tries before the interval to leave the home side with an uphill battle in the second period.

Honours were even in the final forty minutes, with each side adding 2 more tries to their tally. Lewis Quinn and Lewis Workman were the scorers for Huddersfield but although the hosts finished strongly they couldn’t reduce the deficit further and the match ended at 15-36 in Sheffield’s favour.

For the second week running injury and unavailability meant an understrength Huddersfield team took to the pitch and they were exposed in the opening play. Former Huddersfield winger Cameron Catleugh made the decisive break to put Christian Hooper in on the left flank. Catleugh went on to race in for Sheffield’s second try on the opposite wing 20 minutes later.

Huddersfield’s first try came after Sheffield were pressured into penalty concessions, which took play deep into their 22, and when the ball was mauled over the line Davis dotted down.

In the second quarter Huddersfield were stifled and struggled to get their hands on the ball and out of their own half. Lock Dominic Parsons scored a third try for Sheffield on 26 minutes, driving over from close range and Catleugh wrapped up the try scoring bonus point on the half hour having received the ball on the right wing after some swift passing away from a solid Sheffield scrum.

Scrum half Elliot Fisher converted the last two Sheffield tries to make the half time score 5-24.

The second half didn’t start well for Huddersfield. Having lost possession in the first contact they were penalised at the scrummage and winger Finlay Stewart was yellow carded for a technical infringement. Shortly afterwards Hooper sniped over the line for a corner flag try from a 5 metre lineout.

The home side then settled and for the first time in the game began to string some promising passages of play together. Davis twice made good yards and, with support, took play into the Sheffield red zone. With the visitors camped on their line defending a 5 metre penalty Quinn spotted a gap and nipped in for Huddersfield’s second try. Workman’s conversion attempt bounced wide off the upright.

Huddersfield scrum half Paul Harrison was making things tick in midfield. Having made an opportunistic steal from a Sheffield scrum he broke clear and whipped the ball out to the left wing only to see the promise die with a knock on.

Although Sheffield hit back with another slick break Huddersfield had their defensive measure and were soon back on the attack. Harrison made another darting break and although he took a big hit in the tackle he successfully offloaded to Davis who continued the forward momentum and put Workman in for his try, which he really should have converted.

From the re-start Huddersfield knocked on and Hooper rounded off the scoring with his second try after another good scrum. Fisher converted from wide out.

Huddersfield produced their best rugby in the closing stages of the match. Prop Harry Whitfield made a thundering break which drew a penalty and Quinn went close from the tap and go but despite all the effort a fourth try and bonus point failed to materialise. The final whistle followed a late yellow for Sheffield hooker Angus Hughes.

With only four games remaining, three of which are away, Huddersfield still only have two wins to their credit and prop up the league table. Next Saturday they travel to Billingham who are just two places above them.

Huddersfield: Workman; Foreman; Nash; Hawden; Stewart F; Collins; Harrison; Rollins; Dawson; Sanderson; Barnard; Neilly; Quinn; Davis; Pearson. Replacements: Walker; Whitfield; Shiel; Newport; Phayer.

Written by Richard Sykes.

Photos by Ray Morris.

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