Words: Richard Sykes Photo: Ray Morris
Huddersfield RUFC head coach Gaz Lewis took the positives as his side kept going until the end despite a 31-17 defeat at Hull Ionians in Round 4 of the National 2 North championship at Brantingham Park.
Huddersfield opened the scoring with a Will Milner penalty on 10 minutes but their hold on the lead was brief. Five minutes later Ionians winger Josh Britton went over for the first try of the afternoon which was crisply converted by full-back Lewis Minikin.
Proceedings were held up 25 minutes into the game due to a serious injury to Huddersfield winger Cameron Catleugh who had to leave the field of play. Catleugh’s injury unsettled the visitors and not long after the re-start a try by Ionians lock George Mewburn and Minikin’s conversion doubled their score.
The final try of a half dominated by the home side came just after the half hour courtesy of prop Ben Stephenson with Minikin duly adding the extras.
Half time: Hull Ionians 21 Huddersfield 3
Four minutes into the second period Ionians secured the try scoring bonus point when Britton went over for his second touchdown. This time Minikin failed to convert.
Huddersfield eventually managed to get into their stride in the closing stages of the match and their efforts were rewarded with two late tries.
Ionians Number 8 Tyler Heelas was yellow carded on 64 minutes and ten minutes later Huddersfield captain and Number 8 Lewis Bradley crossed the line for his team’s first try after an excellent solo run. Centre Lewis Workman added the second in stoppage time. Both were successfully converted by Milner.
In between the two Huddersfield tries Ionians flanker Callum Sanderson notched a fifth for the home side but once again Minikin was wide of the mark with his conversion attempt.
The result leaves Huddersfield in 9th place in the table with one win from their first four games. After the game Huddersfield head coach Gaz Lewis was generous in praise of the victors and acknowledged the strengths in his own team.
He said: “Ionians are a physical and well drilled team. We gave them field position through our indiscipline and they had a driving maul that was difficult to stop.
“However there are many positives to take away from the game. We scored two excellent tries from unconstructed play and showed once again that we play right to the end.
“Hopefully this week one or two lads will be back from injury and we can prepare well for the important game against Luctonians next Saturday.”