By Patrick Moore
Huddersfield RU ran in 13 thumping tries to demolish Stockport 87-0 as they stormed to their 10th league win in a row.
In a purely dominant display where the Field managed to nil their opponents for the first time this season , Elliot Hodgson grabbed his fourth hat trick of the season amid the scoring riot.
And with second-placed Rossendale managing only a 17-11 win against Billingham, Gareth Lewis’s side have opened a six-point gap at the top of National III North.
Huddersfield had to be patient in the opening stages, though, and even with a strong start the home side did well to keep the league leaders at bay in the first 10 minutes.
From a line-out inside the Stockport 22, the ball was worked to Nick Sharpe in the maul and he was too strong, going over to make the kick easy for Chris Bell to convert.
Joel Hinchliffe was soon over again after smart footwork outwitted Stockport’s forwards and Bell added a good conversion.
In fairness to Stockport, who have yet to register a league point this season, they responded well and didn’t allow the floodgates to open just yet, and after a strong period of winning penalties in their own half they looked as if they’d score an unlikely try, but a forward pass was ruled deep inside the Huddersfield 10.
The Field then put their foot back on the pedal and Adam Malthouse powered through to widen the gap with a converted try. Hodgson then dodged two before sprinting past a third to secure the bonus point and, when Stockport’s James Shaw was sin binned, Bell hit the whitewash as he was left open following a scrum.
Just before the break came the finest try of the game as Hodgson brought the ball out of his own half and exchanged a neat one-two with Brandon Conway on the wing before he went over with ease.
It took just a minute for the Field to reassert their intentions in the second half as Conway ran free for another converted try.
By then it was a matter of how many Huddersfield could score, and with men free to his right Lewis Bradley got himself on the scoresheet. Bell couldn’t convert that try, but when Frances Entressengle scored his first try of the season, he added with ease.
Hodgson got his deserved hat trick just after the hour mark when the ball was worked well to the left, and the former Giants man was never going to squander his chance.
With the job done, the Field looked to chase a scoreline of 100, but with credit to Stockport they limited as much further damage as possible with a spirited attitude.
But when Tom Kanouros went on off the bench, he ran in two tries of his own; the first coming from quick thinking following a penalty which caught Stockport off guard and the latter leaving the defence for dead with his pace.
As Stockport kicked out of touch from the restart, Tom Owen rounded off the emphatic win with a well-worked move which resulted in a converted try, and coach Lewis was understandably very happy with the victory.
He said: “The players did what they needed to do.
“We were winning the collisions so easily it became a bit fragmented and some of our handling was a little bit inaccurate, and we probably squandered about five tries.
“But I can’t complain at an 87-0 scoreline.”
Lewis added: “We scored some great tries. It was quite a disjointed game and was frustrating at times, but we spoke about being relentless and by and large we were.”
It was the second time this season Field have posted 13 tries and Lewis conceded: “I’m a little frustrated not to get to 100.
“But we didn’t concede any and that’s very pleasing. We weren’t really challenged, but a couple of times on our line we had to make scrambled defence tackles and we did that.
“There’s a little cushion between us and the rest now in the table, but as the old cliché goes it’s one game at a time.
“We’ll keep doing our jobs and that’s another match ticked off the list.”
Timeline of tries: 11 Nick Sharpe (Conversion Bell) 7-0. 14 Joel Hinchliffe (Conversion Bell) 14-0. 27 Adam Malthouse (Conversion Bell) 21-0. 33 Elliot Hodgson (Conversion Bell) 28-0. 37 Chris Bell (Conversion Bell) 35-0. 39 Elliot Hodgson (Conversion Bell) 42-0. 41 Brandon Conway (Conversion Bell) 49-0. 48 Lewis Bradley (Conversion missed) 54-0. 56 Frances Entressengle (Conversion Bell) 61-0. 63 Elliot Hodgson (Conversion Bell) 68-0. 70 Tom Kanouros (Conversion Bell) 75-0. 73 Tom Kanauros (Conversion missed) 80-0. 78 Tom Owen (Conversion Bell) 87-0.