Words: Richard Sykes Images: Gareth Lyons  

Huddersfield Rugby Union have had their victory over Luctonians on January 28 taken away from them by the National League Rugby rules committee due to a breach in the rules.

During the game Huddersfield were unable to field a replacement prop when Callum Thompson was sin binned. Huddersfield’s travelling replacement had been injured during the warm up. 

Scrums went uncontested for the 10 minutes of Thompson’s exclusion and Huddersfield were penalised by the removal of another player for the duration of the penalty. 

Luctonians appealed the result on account of the irregularity and the League found in their favour and awarded them the game. 

There is no relegation from National 2 North this season on account of league restructuring which will take effect next season.

Huddersfield currently sit third from bottom on 28 points following that news and their latest defeat 19-5 to Tynedale last Saturday. 

On the defeat Huddersfield head coach Gaz Lewis said: “Sometimes in rugby you are better without the ball and I think there was an element of that today. Tynedale managed the atrocious conditions better than we did. 

“They had a well-organised driving maul and capitalised on our errors. At times we were our own worst enemy as we tried to play too much football, inviting pressure on ourselves.”

Tynedale adapted well to the atrocious conditions at Lockwood Park and ran out worthy winners. They scored three first half tries and returned to Northumberland with a 19-5 victory under their belt. 

On a sodden pitch, the condition of which worsened considerably in the driving rain that persisted throughout the match, both teams showed total commitment and contrived to produce an entertaining spectacle for the folks who had braved the elements to attend the match.

Huddersfield RUFC lose in the mud and rain

Tynedale opened their account with a converted try in the first minute. From a lineout 10 metres from the Huddersfield line, hooker Ralph Johnstone dotted down after a driving maul, with scrum half Jay West landing the tricky conversion.

Huddersfield’s one and only score came five minutes later. Having grub kicked the ball forward into the Tynedale 22, the last defender slipped as he attempted to gather and Huddersfield centre Lewis Workman seized the moment, picking up neatly and diving over in the corner. Will Milner’s conversion attempt was wide of the mark.

The visitors then scored two more tries before the game was half an hour old. West went over in the left hand corner for the first of them and centre Will Miller added the second. After a decisive centre field break by the Tynedale forwards, Miller finished the move close to the posts and West added the extras.

Huddersfield started the second half brightly and with the driving wind and rain at their backs they kept the pressure on throughout the final forty minutes. They got the upper hand in the scrummages and pushed the Tynedale pack close to their line. Despite forcing penalty concessions and pegging their visitors back by kicks to touch, Huddersfield couldn’t capitalise on their territorial advantage. Tynedale’s defence proved resolute and held firm.

Hopes of a second Huddersfield score were raised on 65 minutes. A fine break by scrum half Jonny Mason took play into the Tynedale 22 but Field knocked on at the breakdown. Tynedale cleared their lines with a decent kick which fell into the hands of winger Kian Stewart. He ran and side stepped his marker and was clean through, but the referee ruled that Tynedale hadn’t gained any advantage and blew up for the knock on. 

That was as close as Huddersfield got to a consolation. The game of attrition was played out in the mud, with neither side letting their efforts dip, right up to the final whistle.

Huddersfield take on title contenders, Stourbridge, at Lockwood Park next Saturday.  

Huddersfield: Hodson; Stewart; Workman; Milner; Brook A; Potter; Thompson; Thornton; Smith; Pearson; Sharpe; Davis; Parfitt; Bradley. Replacements: Sanderson; Brown; Stapley; Law; Mason.