Fly-half Tom Hodson’s late penalties secured victory for Huddersfield as they fought back to beat National III North rivals Billingham 25-21 in their opening fixture of the season at Lockwood Park.
The win came on the back of a positive pre-season for the club, as they begin life in a new division after relegation last term, and skipper Nick Sharpe said: “It was a nervy one for the crowd and the management, but we showed in the end that we’ve got the composure to win those tight battles.”
Huddersfield dominated territory early on, but they were forced to settle for penalties as Hodson gave the home side a 9-6 lead by half time.
After the restart, Peter Evans kicked Billingham level as the visitors looked galvanised and the conditions improved, and the visitors took the lead through an Andy Evans try after a break from deep within their own half.
Though Huddersfield were soon back on terms as they were awarded a penalty try, the visitors regained the lead 10 minutes from time when a kick out found Tom Small who went in to score in the corner.
However, late pressure from the home side forced Billingham into mistakes, and Hodson produced three successful penalties in the dying minutes to secure victory.
First-team manager Lee Paxman said: “We had a lot of belief to keep playing the same way, we forced the pressure.
“And what can you say when you’ve got a goal-kicker as accurate as Tom Hodson to keep that scoreboard ticking over?”
Next Saturday Huddersfield have their first away trip of the season to Bradford and Bingley, who are coached by former England international Henry Paul.
There was not such a perfect start to the campaign for Huddersfield’s second team, the Falcons, as they lost 19-14 to Wheatley Hills.