Huddersfield RU 60
(National II North)
SUPER centre Matt Clarke stormed in for four tries as confident Huddersfield ensured their National League status with an eight-try blitz over relegated Waterloo.
In theory they could still finish up on the same number of points as Broadstreet, but only if they fail to score another point in their three remaining games, while the Coventry outfit would need to win both their games, while at the same time overturning a 343 points-for deficit!
It was by no means Huddersfield’s best display of the season, but the impression was that they could score whenever they wanted – which was probably their undoing in the early stages of this contest at Lockwood Park.
Chris Johnson knocked over two penalties to start the scoreboard ticking over, but it was 17 minutes before they managed to cross the whitewash, thanks to a solo effort from skipper and leading try-scorer Mark Whitehead, who picked up a loose ball 35 yards out, sold an outrageous dummy and then took on and beat the full-back to score under the posts.
Johnson added the first of his seven conversions, and from that point on it was just a question of how many points Huddersfield were going to rack up.
But credit to Waterloo who caused the home side a few early problems, Donovan Van Vuuren saving one certain try before second rower Ryan McKie did get his side’s solitary first half score in the left corner.
That certainly stung Field into action however, and Clarke increased the lead when he shrugged off a tackle to go through on 34 minutes, and four minutes later he was over again, this time sent in by Ben Paxman.
After a few early second half substitutions, Huddersfield settled down to the job in hand and Clarke added his third and fourth scores before Van Vuuren got in on the act after some fluent handling down the line.
Paxman scored a super individual effort when he reacted first to a bobbling ball, while Clarke with a clever backhand flick sent in James Wood for Field’s eighth try.
Waterloo added two late scores through Carl Nolan and Jan van Deventer, converted by Adam Anderson, but by then Huddersfield were long gone and looking forward to what will be a tougher task at Bradford and Bingley next Saturday as they aim to put even further distance between themselves and the bottom four clubs.
Huddersfield: Owen; Sutcliffe (Wood 45), Clarke, Paxman, Van Vuuren; Johnson, Clayton (Hinchliffe 40); Slater, Davies (Entressengle 54), Stringwell (Battye 45), Harris, Rhodes, Hinchliff (Hyde 65), Whitehead, Sharpe.
Referee: Bob Sheard (Heysham).