By Richard Sykes

Huddersfield RUFC produced the weekend’s stand out result in the National 2 North championship by beating high-flying Hull Ionians 33-17 at Lockwood Park. Fly-half Will Milner controlled the fixture from start to finish in a fantastic display. 

The platform for victory was created with a flawless first half display in which they dominated the team in third place in the table in every aspect of the game, scoring two tries and 23 unanswered points.  

It was a fourth straight win and delighted director of rugby Gaz Lewis said: “We produced a team performance in every sense of the word. To a man we were outstanding.

“We tore a very experienced Ionians pack apart, which built the foundation for the win, and Will Milner controlled the game from fly-half. It ranks as one of the best performances of my time in charge and the exciting prospect is that there are still many areas we can improve on for our next game.”

Field were on the front foot from the first whistle and ran and passed the ball with speed and accuracy throughout the game. They were tenacious at the breakdown and defended with total conviction.

In the scrummages they out-muscled a powerful Ionians pack and produced quick, clean ball or forced penalties to gain field position.

At the end of the first quarter Field held a 6 point lead thanks to two well stuck long range penalties by Milner. The I’s were not without their moments in the opening period but chose to kick their penalties to touch. However, their tried and tested catch and drive tactic met with fierce resistance and Field achieved turnover and cleared their lines.  

The game sparkled with moments of individual skill and on 25 minutes centre Lewis Workman produced a nifty chip and catch before grubbing the ball into the I’s red zone. which pressured them into a giving away a penalty.

The kick to touch led to a powerful driving maul, with prop Callum Thompson grounding the ball for the first try of the game, which Milner converted.

Ten minutes from half-time Ionians’ prop Ben Bell was yellow carded and the hosts pressed home their one man advantage. The highlight of the game came as the first half neared its end.

Skipper Lewis Bradley made a decisive break from half way for Field. He passed to Fin Stewart on the right wing who embarked on a run of mesmerising brilliance, weaving through the I’s defence before gifting Workman a  short pass for him to dot down near the posts. The conversion by Milner was a formality leaving the score at half-time 23-0 and the visitors nonplussed.

A quarter of an hour into the second half the Ionians were back in the game. Four minutes after the re-start centre Lewis Minikin broke through and rolled out of a tackle for a try which he converted. Twelve minutes later they added a second.

A  penalty gave them an attacking lineout and scrum-half Sam Pocklington marshalled the driving maul before touching down when it crossed the whitewash. This time Minikin’s conversion attempt was wide of the mark.

The narrowing of the scoreline didn’t phase Field who stuck to their game plan which saw Milner notch a third penalty on the hour. Five minutes later they wrapped up the game. A tactical kick, chased down by Kian Stewart, pressured the I’s full back into putting the ball in touch.

Field pitched the throw to the back of the lineout and hooker Ethan Myers rounded off the drive with a fine try. Once again Milner was unerring with his kick.

Field lost the services of prop Callum Thompson to the sin bin for the last ten minutes. Having resisted everything I’s could throw at them and cleared their lines they lost a lineout on half way and three long cross field passes later Sam Wilson cruised in for a final try for the I’s which Minikin converted to bring the curtain down on a classic match.

Field travel to Sheffield for a re-arranged fixture on Saturday. They will be hoping to reproduce their form and narrow the gap on the team just two places above them in the table.