Words: Richard Sykes. Pic: Leah Somerset
Hull Ionians were on the scoreboard inside half-a-minute and had the try scoring bonus point wrapped up inside the first half hour in their home tie against Huddersfield RUFC. The Humbersiders went on to bag 10 tries in a 58-17 mauling of their visitors.
Ionians are one of the National 2 North contenders and made the perfect start to the match. From kick off, flanker Allan Hudson took the catch and made a stunning 40-metre break, before putting scrum-half Charlie Kirk in for a try between the posts, which his half-back partner Ben Smith had no difficulty converting.
Field made a positive response to the early setback and were back on terms with only five minutes on the clock. Centre Ed Barber made the break and combined well with No* Rob Jennings, in a move finished off with a try by flanker Liam Parfitt.
After Will Milner added the extras Field maintained the pressure and five minutes later took the lead when Milner notched a penalty. At this stage the game looked to have the makings of a close encounter however the home side seized the initiative in a devastating spell, which produced four tries in 20 minutes.
Three of them came from lineouts close to the Huddersfield try line. Full-back Jack Townend, hooker Ben Stephenson and Hudson were the men who cashed in on the excellent setpiece ball, with winger Sam Wilson showing his pace to round off the try sequence with a corner flag score. Smith converted only one of the four.
Midway through the Ionians blitz Field had the opportunity to hit back, when a penalty gave them an attacking lineout. However, in contrast to the home side’s clinical work, the lineout ball was lost and Ionians countered with another fine break, which was halted by an equally fine, try-saving, tackle by Field full-back Tom Hodson.
Field finished the half strongly and, in spite of losing another two more attacking lineouts in the space of two minutes, they narrowed the gap to 12 points.
Hodson showed his rugby nous, grubbing through the defensive line to keep the home side on the back foot, and pave the way for a score on the stroke of half time. A sound lineout, which stemmed from a penalty, saw hooker Liam Stapley driven over for a try which Milner converted. Half-time score, 29-17.
In the second half Field continued to stutter and by the time 13 minutes of it had elapsed Ionians had 12 more points on the scoreboard, thwarting any hope of a come back.
No8 George Mewburn was first over the whitewash with a try, which Smith converted, followed by a second for Wilson, who once again, outpaced the cover on the wing.
By midway through the half Ionians were dominating all aspects of the game and were camped on the Huddersfield line. Field mounted a sterling defence of it and, although Milner saw yellow for a technical infringement, they eventually managed to clear their lines.
However, the respite for Field was short-lived and Ionians scored three more tries in the final 15 minutes. Stephenson notched his second of the match and made the break that put replacement Alex Campbell in, with Wilson completing his hat-trick in the final move of the match. Kirk landed the difficult conversion from the touch line to bring the game to its end.
The win lifts Ionians to third place in the league table. On Saturday (October 22) Huddersfield host Blaydon at Lockwood Park, kick-off 2.15pm. The two teams are the only ones in the division without a win.