By Richard Sykes
Huddersfield RUFC director of rugby Neil Ryan praised the attitude and character of his players after the team ended a 10-match losing run with a 24-8 victory over Billingham at Lockwood Park.
Solid defence and two tries in each half secured Field’s second National 2 North win of the season and Ryan said: “The attitude and character of all 20 players was first class and the victory fully deserved.
“Our defence from the start was aggressive and solid, exactly what we have been working on and the character of the side came to the fore, especially when we received two yellow cards simultaneously. Everyone defended as if their lives depended on it and the workrate was unbelievable.
“The icing on the cake was to score four tries and get a bonus point.
“The win has given the lads a lot of confidence and we need to build on this in training and the remaining games. We still have all to play for and everyone is excited for what the future holds.”
With their big front row Billingham dominated the early scrummages, forcing penalties and putting their hosts on the back foot. For 10 minutes Field held firm inside their 22 before turning the tide.
From a scrum on half way Field No8 Lewis Quinn rolled away from the back and made good yards, triggering a good passage of play.
Full-back Lewis Workman came into the line, making the first of several notable contributions, to put Max Horsfall in on the left wing for the first try which went unconverted.
Ten minutes later full-back Ryan Foreman put Billingham on the scoresheet with a penalty before Field increased their lead with a second try on the half hour.
Having strung together a few phases of positive attacking back play Field forced Billingham into a penalty concession, the kick taking play deep inside the Billingham 22.
From the lineout lock Thiu Barnard drove over from close range but for the second time the difficult touchline kick went wide of the mark.
Either side of half-time Field were reduced to 13 men after Billy Hammond and Harry Whitfield were yellow carded in quick succession for high tackles just before the break.
Billingham spurned three easy points from the penalty after the first infringement choosing instead to kick to the line but the tactic was thwarted by some more impressive defensive work by the home side.
Shortly before the half-time whistle Billingham blew another scoring opportunity. A back line move took them into the Field 22 but Foreman chose to cut inside and go solo when he had a two man overlap to his right. He was held up and the score remained at 10-3 at the break.
Ten minutes into the second half, with Field now back to 15 men, Billingham chose to pass a second chance of three easy points.
A shrewd kick into space took them into attacking territory and when Field were penalised in front of their posts Billingham opted to scrummage. Once again the defence was robust and Quinn turned the ball over and passed to Workman who kicked it clear.
Either side of the hour mark Huddersfield produced their best spell of the match. Workman featured prominently in the attacking moves, breaking tackles and taking play deep inside the Billingham 22. Field came close from a catch and drive from a 5 metre lineout and on 65 minutes Quinn crossed for a try which was set up by Workman. Ethan Myers added the extras to take the score to 17-3.
With 10 minutes to go Billingham winger Matthew Kirkby scored a try to give his side hope of a comeback but Field tightened up and regained control.
The final moments of the game played out in the Billingham half and, when they were penalised inside their 22, Field scrum-half Paul Harrison took a swift tap and nipped through the Billingham line for an opportunist try to earn the bonus point.
It was fittingly converted by Workman to round off a fine individual performance by him and set the seal on a well-deserved win for the team.
Huddersfield: Workman; Senior; Hammond; Barber; Horsfall; Potter; Wilson; Rollins; Myers; Whitfield; Pearson; Barnard; Parfitt; Entressengle; Quinn. Replacements: Dawson; Walker; Haywood; Harrison; Moore.
Main image (above) by: RAY MORRIS
Meanwhile, Lockwood Park played host to the six Northern Counties Colts teams and the North of England selectors on Sunday January 8.
In the games Durham beat Lancashire, Northumberland beat Cumbria and Cheshire got the better of Yorkshire. Huddersfield’s Connor Tyne impressed at loose head prop for Yorkshire.
Connor, 18, is an apprentice engineer at Thomas Broadbent and has been a cornerstone contributor to his club team’s success this season.