Words: Richard Sykes – Images: Ray Morris
Huddersfield RUFC director of rugby Neil Ryan praised his players for a “great effort” despite defeat against unbeaten former Premiership side Rotherham Titans.
Field went down 43-15 at Clifton Lane but fronted up physically against a tough opponent.
Huddersfield crashed to a 49-12 home defeat against Hull last week, another side likely to prove title contenders in National 2 North.
Ryan said: “I wanted a reaction following our last game and there was a great effort from the lads against a big and powerful Titans side.
“I don’t believe the scoreline reflects the game for all the effort put in. There are positives to take from the game. Our scrum performed well and our carrying game was strong. The ‘work-ons’ are our lineouts and game management.”
Very little separated the two teams in the first quarter. Field took an early lead from a George Collins penalty which was cancelled out by Will Milner with one for Rotherham not long afterwards.
Both teams recorded their first try before 20 minutes had passed. Titans’ hooker Luke Cole was first over the whitewash with winger Fin Stewart crossing for Field. A successful Milner conversion gave the hosts a slender two points advantage by the end of it.
Titans finished the first half strongly, scoring two more tries before the break. They then produced another three in a match-winning spell midway through the second period.
A try in the dying moments by centre Ed Barber, converted by Collins, provided some well-earned consolation for Huddersfield.
Field rattled and frustrated Titans in the early exchanges and took the lead from Collins’ penalty four minutes into the game. Titans’ equaliser came following a yellow card for Field skipper Ed Barber. Cole then cashed in on his team’s one man advantage with the first try with Milner adding the extras.
Stewart’s score then evened things up. It came after good work by the pack set up position for full-back Kian Stewart who put his brother in for a try in the corner.
Tries by strong running replacement prop Tipiloma Kivalu and centre Harry Dunne, both of which were converted by Milner, gave Titans a 28-8 lead at half-time.
Field made a determined start after the break and were resolute in defence and the hosts had to wait until the 56th minute to secure the bonus point try. No8 Zak Poole got the score.
Tries by wingers Kareem Eissa and Jack Taylor followed within the next 10 minutes to wrap up the game. Ex-Huddersfield fly-half Milner converted two from three.
With time almost up Field mounted a final assault on the Titans’ line which resulted in a technical yellow for Eissa. Moments later Barber rounded off the spell of pressure with a try close to the posts which Collins converted.
Field host another unbeaten side in league leaders Leeds Tykes at Lockwood Park on Saturday September 30 (3.00).
Huddersfield: Stewart K; Stewart F; Workman; Barber; Horsfall; Collins; Walker; Thompson; Myers; Whitfield; Barnard; Dawson; Quinn; Thornton; Hammond. Replacements: Rollins; Moore; Wilson; Haywood; Nicholson.