By Patrick Moore
Huddersfield RU put Firwood Waterloo to the sword in spectacular style as they stormed to an 85-14 third five-point win in a row.
The high scoring win, with Elliot Hodgson scoring an outstanding six of the Field’s 13 tries, preserves their 100% start to the seaso n and puts Gareth Lewis’s side six points ahead at the top of National III North.
It was a dominant display from Huddersfield, who found it easy to split a weak Firwood pack and exploit the pace of their widemen as they recycled the ball impressively on a dry afternoon at Lockwood Park.
The Field wasted no time in putting points next to their name as Hodgson raced in for his first try after Lewis Workman did well to offload near the try line and Bell converted smartly.
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They were over again minutes later as Hodgson found space and he returned the favour for Workman who went over – Bell converting from a tight angle.
As the floodgates looked to have been opened early, Firwood did well to muster a good spell of possession and were rewarded when an awkward grubber kick found John Cunningham, and his
try was converted to make it 14-7.
However, the Liverpool side couldn’t keep momentum and in the next phase Danny Grainger scored in the corner, this time Bell missing his conversion.
Bell, though, wasn’t to let his miss get to him and he picked up a loose line-out from Firwood and gave the ball to Hodgson, who ran half the pitch to go under the sticks (Bell added an easy two).
Despite having Adam Malthouse receiving a dubious yellow card to spend 10 minutes in the sin bin, Huddersfield went over again through Tom Owen for an unconverted score.
Just before half time, the Field were in freely again and Hodgson’s deft grubber kick found Brandon Conway who made no mistake. Bell added to make it 38-7 at the break.
It didn’t take long for Huddersfield to show their intent in the second half, and from the first play Hodgson got his hat trick after a turn of direction and burst of acceleration from inside his own half. Bell converted.
The league leaders were then through again as Austen Thompson broke, but he opted to offload to Conway, who knocked on from a low pass.
But Thompson made amends as he went over in the corner minutes later. Bell missed a tough conversion, but one which was to be the last he put wide.
Conway then grabbed his second try in the corner and it was a matter of who wanted to get on the scoresheet as the Field were 57-7 up with 25 minutes left.
That was enough time for Hodgson to score another hat trick in just eight minutes to leave Firwood dead and buried.
After Bell’s good break for Hodgson to go over, his fifth try typified the ex-Giants man’s performance as he tore Firwood’s defence apart. Workman nicely set up Hodgon’s sixth.
With the five points well and truly in the bag, Firwood actually looked like the team to have the final say as Cunningham intercepted a loose pass on the Huddersfield 22, and his try was converted.
But Grainger got his second as he split the Firwood defence and Bell converted to give Huddersfield an 85-14 scoreline – their sixth win on the bounce.
Head coach Gareth Lewis said: “We’re obviously delighted with how it went.
“It was emphatic in the end but I’m a little bit disappointed in conceding 14 points if I’m honest. To score 85 though is an unbelievable effort.”
He added: “I felt we worked really hard on the support play in some of the tries we scored.
“Also I’ve got to single out Elliot for scoring six tries because it’s a fantastic achievement.”
The coach still felt chances were needlessly missed and called for the team to be even more clinical.
“We’re coming up against some good sides in the next few weeks and we’ll work on our play in the final third of the pitch,” he explained.
“The main thing was about sticking to the game plan. Games like this (Firwood) can become fairly unstructured and people can look for the glory, but we did stick to the game plan and the tries we scored were great team tries.
“We had great width, particularly in the first half, and our set piece was strong again. That was really encouraging.”
It’s Cup action next, with a home clash against Sheffield at Lockwood Park on Saturday.
Lewis said: “We’ve reassessed our goals in terms of this season.
“It’s a good competition and sometimes it fits in with the league programme and sometimes it doesn’t.
“This year we’re playing in fewer league games than last season in National II and there’s a number of free weekends throughout the year.
“We have competition for places and it’s a good chance for a few lads who weren’t involved (against Firwood).”