Words: Richard Sykes – Picture: Ray Morris
Huddersfield RUFC returned from their first road trip of the 2021-22 National 2 North campaign with a handsome bonus point win against newly-promoted Blaydon.
It was the club’s first win of the campaign after losing their opening day fixture.
The home side made a determined start to the game and made it difficult for Huddersfield to settle into any sort of rhythm. A third minute penalty by Ryan Forman gave them an early lead but it was one on which they were unable to build in the opening quarter.
Having survived the initial onslaught Huddersfield took the lead with a try by hooker Liam Stapley which was nicely converted by Will Milner making the score 7-3 to Huddersfield.
On the half hour mark Milner extended Huddersfield’s lead with a penalty kick but the three points were cancelled out only three minutes later when Huddersfield were penalised for a high tackle. John Clarkson took over the kicking duties for Blaydon and made no mistake from the tee leaving the score at half-time 10-6 to Huddersfield.
Although Blaydon made a lively start to the second half Huddersfield soaked up the early pressure and extended their lead with a try by flanker Liam Parfitt on 51 minutes which was converted by Milner. That put the score at 17-6 to the visitors.
Yellow cards for Huddersfield’s Cameron Catleugh and Liam Stapley on 64 and 67 minutes respectively gave impetus to Blaydon’s cause and when their pack mauled the ball over the line Clarkson dotted down for an unconverted try to reduce the deficit to 17-11 to Huddersfield.
Blaydon’s Liam Wright was yellow carded on 78 minutes and his absence in defence made it difficult for his team to hang on.
Once back up to a full complement of Huddersfield players, the visitors regrouped and finished strongly, scoring two more tries in the final five minutes.
Scrum half Jonny Mason was the first to cross the whitewash, scoring his first try for the club and gifting Milner the opportunity for his fourth successful kick of the afternoon which he duly despatched.
In the final minute Huddersfield captain and Number 8 Lewis Bradley touched down for the bonus point try but Milner’s conversion attempt bounced wide off the upright. The final score ending 29-11 to Huddersfield.
The day was also special with three players making their competitive debuts for The Field as they have all risen through the club’s age groups. Back row forwards Leighton Davis and Jacob Glover and prop Jack Smith all had their first run out for the team.
Head coach Gaz Lewis was very pleased with his team’s performance and said: “I’m delighted for the players. They defended fantastically well in the second half as Blaydon made a number of entries into our 22 metres. We showed how we are improving and to take five points away from home is very satisfying.
“It was particularly good to see so many homegrown players giving their all for the club.”