Words: Richard Sykes – Image: Ray Morris
Huddersfield RUFC went down to a 52-10 defeat at home to table-topping Leeds Tykes who have won all five matches so far in National 2 North.
Field opened the scoring in each half but their meagre tally was scant reward for their possession and endeavour.
The former Premiership outfit ran in eight tries and ruthlessly cashed in on the home side’s errors.
Neil Ryan, Huddersfield’s director of rugby, was underwhelmed by his team’s first half performance although pleased by its response after the interval.
“We made too many errors and invited pressure,” he said. “We need to make it more difficult for teams to score against us.
“Having given ourselves too much to do we produced a reaction in the second half and played better. If we had played this way earlier it would have been a closer contest.”
Fly-half Joe Potter got the scoreboard ticking on two minutes with a penalty for Field after a lively start took them into the Tykes’ red zone.
The visitors then captured the lead with a try from their first spell in possession, hooker Adam Brown touching down behind a beautifully constructed maul from a 5 metre line out. Fly-half Seremaia Turagabeci notched the first of his six conversions.
The Tykes’ second try came on 19 minutes, Turagabeci nipping in from behind a scrum inside the Field 22 after the hosts had knocked on. They then went on to score another three in the second quarter with winger Jacob Mounsey bagging a brace.
Mounsey’s first came after an excellent break by centre Thomas Williams. Full-back Charlie Venables then cut the Field line with Mounsey on his shoulder.
Although Field’s Kian Stewart and Lewis Workman hauled the pair down, momentum allowed Mounsey to slide over the line. The final Tykes try of the half came from a charge down by flanker Lucas Walsh. Turagabeci converted three from four.
Between the setbacks Field worked tirelessly with ball in hand. The pack scrummaged well throughout and scrum-half Josh Walker orchestrated the go forward with his brisk passing, sniping runs, kicking and enterprising ‘tap and go’s which put Field’s big men on the front foot.
Flanker Ethan Myers, prop Harry Whitfield and centre Ed Barber all made noticeable yards with brothers Finlay and Kian Stewart in the back three an ever present threat.
On the stroke of half-time Field came close. From a penalty to 10 metres Field whipped the ball right to left only to be denied by a knock on in the line by Mounsey who was lucky not to see yellow for deliberate.
Having turned round at 33-3 down Field narrowed the gap with a try by Barber immediately after the break. Kian Stewart chipped over the defence and grubbed through for Barber to cash in by the posts. Potter added the extras.
The Tykes then scored tries on 47 and 54 minutes. Left winger Harry Jukes found himself in space out wide for the first of them with prop Adebowale Ademakin dotting down after another classic catch and drive from a lineout close to the Field line. Turagabeci converted.
Field continued to strive going forward and battle hard in defence. In the pouring rain, which persisted throughout the game, handling proved difficult and both teams lost momentum due to spills on account of it.
The game ended in bizarre fashion with Field running the ball from inside their own half in search of some consolation. Tykes were penalised but referee Buchanan reversed his decision after something was said.
With the Lockwood Park clock showing time up Tykes tapped and kicked to touch. The referee then informed them that there was still a minute left and allowed them to retake the kick.
It was put into touch on 5 metres gifting scrum-half William Hardwick a final try from another fine Tykes maul and Turagabeci the chance to wrap things up with the conversion.
After a tough start to their 2023-24 campaign Field have a series of winnable matches against some of the lower ranked teams starting on Saturday October 7 with an away trip to Tynedale, the only team below them in the table.
Huddersfield: Stewart K; Stewart F; Workman; Barber; Horsfall; Potter; Walker; Thompson; Moore; Whitfield; Barnard; Dawson; Myers; Haywood; Quinn. Replacements: Mann; Foreman; Davis; Rollins; Collins.