Wharfedale 40-17 Huddersfield….Match Report

Field frustrated by Dale’s determined second half show.

Huddersfield held a deserved 17-14 half time lead in their National 2 North league match at Wharfedale. Tries by Xander Nash and Billy Hammond plus two conversions and a penalty by Ed Barber gave them their edge. In the second half the visitors produced plenty of pressure as they pushed for a win but they couldn’t find a way through a very determined Dale defence and when the home side broke they finished clinically, producing 26 unanswered points to secure a 40-17 win.

Wharfedale made the livelier start, Joshua Burridge scoring the first of their 6 tries on 10 minutes. After a nippy break by scrum half Sam Gaudie the Number 8 was put in for a simple try which fly half Rob Davidson converted.

As the half progressed Field settled into their game and fly half Barber put them on the score sheet with a penalty after Dale infringed at a scrum. The first points heralded a good spell for Field. Some hard running put pressure on Dale’s centre field defence, ball retention was good and the phase count built up. Barber, centre Harry Whitfield and flanker Liam Parfitt all made noticeable inroads on the crash ball.

On the half hour easy penalty points were turned down in favour of a tap and go and when the ball reached the left wing Nash powered over for a corner flag try.

Dale winger Ryan Hodgson was yellow carded for a high tackle from the re-start but despite being a man down they regained the lead with a second converted try. Full back Louis Verity made a scintillating 50 metre break from inside his own half, Field were penalised at the breakdown and the penalty was kicked to Field’s 5 metre line. When the lineout move was worked infield centre James Coulton broke through for a try which Davidson converted.

Field got back in front on the stroke of half time. Scrum half Josh Walker hoisted an effective Garryowen which Dale could only fumble backwards. Walker hacked through and chipped the ball up to Hammond who accepted the easiest of chances and Barber ended the first half scoring with a straightforward conversion.

Dale were swiftly out of the blocks in the second period and, having come close in the first minute, Davidson cruised in for a converted try after taking possession from a lineout move inside the Field 22.

The rest of the second half was a story of Field applying pressure but Dale seizing their chances and doing the scoring.

Field dominated for 10 minutes and time and again they drove close to the Dale line. Although Dale lost Gaudie to the sin bin their last line defence remained firm. Eventually, Field lost patience and when a speculative pass was flung wide and loose Dale managed to clear their lines.

After the exit a penalty took Dale to within 10 metres of the Field line and when the ball was mauled infield lock Simon Borrill touched down and Davidson added the extras.

Although Field were soon back on the front foot they couldn’t find a way to unlock the Dale defence and when they were punished by another penalty they found themselves defending.

A full width left to right move ended with a try for Thomas Darwin and although Davidson missed the conversion he made amends with 3 minutes remaining. Field prop Andy Rollins saw yellow for thwarting a promising back line move with a deliberate knock on, Dale chose the scrum and when quick, clean ball came from it Davidson rounded off a fine afternoon for Dale with his second try and fifth conversion.

Huddersfield’s final league game is on 27th April at Hull Ionians.

Huddersfield: Workman; Harrison; Hawkyard; Whitfield; Nash; Barber (Capt); Walker; Thompson; Myers; Rollins; Hammond; Barnard; Haywood; Entressengle; Parfitt. Replacements: Dawson; Davis; Newport; Potter.

Written by Richard Sykes.

Photos by Ray Morris.







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