Huddersfield RUFC earned their first away win of the National II North campaign with a 31-16 win over Sheffield.
After an indecisive first 40 minutes at Abbeydale it was Huddersfield managed to up the tempo in the second period and earn the first victory on the road this season against the divisional strugglers.
Huddersfield were on the scoresheet two minutes in thanks to a Jonny West penalty after the home side were comprehensively out-scrummaged.
However Sheffield responded well after the re-start, producing some flowing rugby and good ball retention.
They looked particularly effective in the lineout, with lock Dom Parsons making some excellent takes which were well backed up and which provided a platform for some nice attacking plays.
Scrum-half Steve Depledge landed two penalties from their sustained early efforts and had them leading on eight minutes.
Huddersfield’s big forwards were posing problems in the loose and they regained the lead when flanker Lewis Bradley crashed through after another good scrum close to the Sheffield line. West converted.
However they were guilty of spurning two or three close range opportunities which could have increased their advantage.
Joel Hinchliffe was held up, Francis Entressengle knocked on with the whitewash beckoning, and on the stroke of half-time Nick Sharpe spilled the ball in a dive for the line.
This after Sheffield prop Dan Rylance was yellow-carded for infringing in an effort to halt the attack.
As the second half commenced it was still anybody’s game, and it was the home side that started more strongly.
They re-took the lead thanks to a try by full back Fergus Wood, who came into the line wide right after several tidy phases.
On 50 minutes coach Gaz Lewis introduced some personnel changes.
The experienced Mark Pease came in at centre, the youthful Harry Davey at fly half and Ben Morrill and Adam Tamanis were introduced into the pack.
It was scrum-half Joel Hinchliffe, however, who ignited the winning thrust.
A quick tap-and-go from his own 22 put some venom into his team’s attacking play.
His teammates responded and Sheffield were on the back foot. Pease, Bradley, Lewis Workman and Tom Owen were involved in well-linked centre field breaks and three more penalty scores by Davey kept the scoreboard ticking over.
Huddersfield’s second try came from another break down the middle.
This time it was Ben Morrill with Austen Thompson in close support.
Thompson was well tackled just short of the line but the ball came back swiftly and Danny Grainger rounded the defence on the right wing, to the delight of Huddersfield’s large travelling contingent of supporters.
Sheffield responded and pressed but the Huddersfield defence held firm at first. Eventually though they were rewarded with a second try. Winger Lewis Bowman rounded off more nice work following a lineout after a penalty kick for touch had returned play to the Huddersfield half.
Huddersfield ended the match a man down after Ben Morrill was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle, but it was they who had the final word.
Another tap and long speedy break by Hinchliffe led to a penalty concession by the home team at the breakdown.
The ball was kicked to the corner and Adam Malthouse scored a try from the drive.
Davey’s conversion brought matters to a close.
Huddersfield YMCA suffered a setback in their West Yorkshire derby at Cleckheaton.
YMCA were beaten 31-13 in North I East at Moorend – full report in tomorrow’s Examiner Sport.