By Richard Sykes

Despite being down to 12 men at one stage, Huddersfield returned from the longest road trip of the season with a fifth National 2 North win under their belt. They produced a determined display in Herefordshire to beat Luctonians 22-17.

The controversial reduction in player numbers came either side of half time with Huddersfield leading 8-3. The first man to leave the pitch was Huddersfield centre Will Milner. He was yellow carded on 33 minutes and followed into the sin bin by prop Callum Thompson five minutes later.

To meet the regulations a front row player has to be brought off the bench. However replacement prop, Lewis Brook, injured his shoulder hitting a tackle shield in his warm up as he prepared to take the field and consequently was unable to do so. The referee ruled that another Huddersfield player had to depart the pitch as a penalty for their failure to comply. 

Scrums then went uncontested until normal service was resumed when Thompsom returned to the pack after his ten minutes on the sideline.     

At the end of the game Huddersfield head coach Gaz Lewis expressed his delight with the result and said: “I’m really pleased for the lads. They have trained hard in recent weeks and they applied the game plan well.

“Our forwards provided the platform up front, laying the foundations for the backs in a good team performance.”

Huddersfield opened the scoring with a Will Milner penalty on 10 minutes, which was cancelled out by one from Luctonians scrum half Owen Randall two minutes later. 

Half an hour in, centre Lewis Workman recaptured the lead for Huddersfield with the first try of the game, a lead they did not surrender for the rest of the match.

The home pressed for their first try either side of half time and came within inches of getting back on terms. However their visitors showed determination in defence and held them up on the line, before extended their lead with a try by skipper Lewis Bradley, which was converted by Milner.

Luctonians replacement Cheick Kone was shown a yellow card for a lineout infringement moments after taking the field. However he made amends on his return, setting up flanker Jack Forsyth, who broke through for a try under the posts. Lewis Silver converted with ease, to narrow the gap to five points.

With the game still in the balance and time running out Huddersfield produced the match winning score. The attacking position was established by an excellent 50/22 kick from full-back Tom Hodson. From the lineout the Huddersfield forwards put the Luctonians defence on the back foot and Bradley rolled out of the maul for his second try. Milner’s conversion made the game safe.

Luctonians did have the last word in the match with time almost up, Ben Murphy powering over from close range for the final try. Silver’s successful conversion earned his team a well deserved losing bonus point. 

Huddersfield: Hodson; Nunn; Workman; Milner; Catleugh; Brook A; Mason; Thompson; Stapley; Rollins; Pearson; Sharpe; Thornton; Parfitt; Bradley. Replacements: Brook L; Davis; Brown; Potter; Law.