Words: Richard Sykes Pictures: Chris Farrow
Huddersfield RUFC crashed to a nine-try defeat at title-chasing Fylde but head coach Gaz Lewis reckoned the scoreline didn’t reflect the performance of his side.
Fylde demonstrated their class with an emphatic win but Lewis said the 57-14 scoreline didn’t do justice to his team’s endeavour and contribution to a highly-entertaining game.
Lewis said: “We were well in contention at the break and had success playing to our strengths but couldn’t impose ourselves in the second half and Fylde cut loose.
“I don’t think the final score reflected how competitive we were. There were some definite positives to come from the game.”
Fylde served notice of intent in the opening minute when centre Tom Stott raced home in the right hand corner for the first try of the match. The home side’s lively back line always looked dangerous whenever they had ball in hand and ran it at pace from deep at every opportunity
Field’s scrummage was strong and they pressured Fylde in the narrow channels. Ed Barber made a fine line break and forced a penalty, with the kick taking play to the 5 metre line.
Fylde held firm but remained under pressure. It was relieved when scrum half Adam Lanigan made a superb 40 metre break, off loading and re-taking the ball to round off the move he started with the second try.
When Field returned to the attack Fylde No8 David Fairbrother was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on. Field kicked the penalty to the corner and took advantage of their extra man when skipper Lewis Bradley was driven over for a try which was converted by fly-half Tom Lee.
The final 10 minutes of the first half turned into a points fest, with three more tries for Fylde and a second for their visitors. The scoring spree began with the dismissal of Bradley to the sin bin. Hooker Ben Gregory touched down for Fylde from the catch and drive from the penalty, after which Adam Lewis and Jordan Dorrington exploited the space created by Lewis’ departure with tries which fly-half Greg Smith converted.
Field’s response to the last one was immediate. A penalty took play to the Fylde line and prop Callum Thompson was driven over with Lee’s successful conversion of his try bringing the half to an end.
Huddersfield produced their best spell of rugby after the interval and put their hosts under pressure in the third quarter. However Fylde proved as resolute in defence as the were running the ball out of it and Field were unable to add to their tally.
The only try in the early part of the half came on 55 minutes when Fylde full-back Tom Carleton won out in a touchline duel with his opposite number Tom Hodson. Smith added the extras.
Field’s bright spell was ended on 70 minutes when winger Ben Turner broke clear and raced in for a fine solo try. Carleton scored his second in similar fashion two minutes later and rounded things off with his hat-trick score with five minutes remaining. Smith successfully converted all of the final tries to bring his personal tally for the game to 12 points.
Field are next in action on November 26, when they host Sedgley Park who top the National 2 North table. They are unbeaten and are the only team Fylde, in second place, have lost to.
Huddersfield: Hodson; Stewart F; Law; Barber; Workman; Lee; Wilson; Rollins; Myers; Effiom; Pearson; Jones; Brown; Bradley (capt); Jennings. Replacements: Stapley; Thompson; Catleugh; Knight; Dawson.