Words: Richard Sykes
Picture: Ray Morris
Huddersfield RUFC defended well for much of the game but two tries in each half saw them go down 7-27 to Hull RUFC at Lockwood Park.
At the start of the match Huddersfield’s chances were dealt a blow by the departure of lineout specialist Harvey Keighley-Payne who sustained an injury in the second minute.
He was replaced by Leighton Davis, whose normal position is in the back row. The young Huddersfield Academy product acquitted himself well at lock but the enforced dislocation created difficulties for the home side in the set piece.
The first quarter of the game, played almost entirely inside the Huddersfield half, was a fairly scrappy affair and at the end of it the match remained scoreless. This was due to some solid defending by Huddersfield and some careless handling by their visitors.
Things changed on the half hour. Huddersfield captain Lewis Bradley was yellow carded for giving referee Daniel Rowlands some back chat and Hull wasted no time in making the most of their numerical advantage. The penalty was kicked to the corner and hooker Ali Thompson dotted down at the end of the catch and drive from the lineout.
After Thompson’s try was successfully converted by Stephen Johnson 14 man Huddersfield continued to defend well but when they failed to find touch with a clearance kick they were made to pay. Hull winger Keane Naylor made a devastating break from his own half and although he was well tackled by a last ditch effort from Huddersfield full back Lewis Workman the ball was recycled and Michael Adlard coasted in for the second try of the game which Johnson failed to convert.
Half time…Huddersfield 0 Hull 12.
After the interval Johnson extended Hull’s lead with a penalty on 55 minutes and Huddersfield finally managed to gain territorial advantage. Hull were penalised at the re-start and the kick for touch took play into the Hull 22 to create an attacking platform.
Huddersfield declined an easy three points when Hull were penalised in front of their posts, choosing instead to tap and go. The ball was worked through several phases and after some brisk handling it was passed to Elliot Knight on the right wing who unfortunately fumbled his catch with the white wash beckoning.
When play returned to the Huddersfield half Hull notched their third try. A strong run by replacement prop Tipiloma Kivalu saw him break through and offload to Michael Jobling for the score under the posts. Johnson had no trouble adding the extras.
With time running out Huddersfield managed to produce a well-deserved consolation try. It came from an excellent break out of defence by Kian Stewart. The pacy wingman left would be tacklers in his wake on a fifty metre dash up field.
Although he was eventually brought down the ball was re-cycled quickly and grubbed behind the Hull defence for Arthur Wilkinson to run onto and pick up for a try on the right wing which was converted by Will Milner.
In stoppage time Huddersfield lost possession inside their half when trying to launch a counter attack. Alex Cullen gathered the loose ball and went over for the bonus point try for Hull to bring scoring and the match to its close.
After the game Huddersfield head coach Gaz Lewis said: “I thought we defended well for large parts of the game against a very experienced side but eventually our line was broken.
“We were unable to secure our set piece ball which meant we couldn’t build any sustained pressure on Hull. Credit to the lads once again though, we played and scored another ‘team’ try.”
The defeat leaves Huddersfield 11th in the league table with just one win from their opening seven games. Next week they travel to Chester, who are just two places and two points above them in the standings. They will be hoping to return with a second win.