RESULTS are usually far more important than the performance.
And Huddersfield RU’s 9-5 home North I victory over Westoe was a classic example.
Over the years, the side from the North-East have become something of a bogey team, with the men from Lockwood Park always finding it difficult to fire on all cylinders against them.
As a result, Huddersfield have more often than not suffered a tale of woe against Westoe.
But, at last, that unfortunate scenario has come to an end.
The performance produced by player-coach Mark Sowerby’s side in this latest Lockwood Park encounter may have been a typical one in this fixture – unconvincing to say the least.
But on this occasion, the all-important factor – the result – went the right way.
At one stage it again looked as if it wouldn’t.
Joe Cookson plunged over from close range following a strong forward drive after 57 minutes to make it 5-3 to the visitors.
Luckily for the hosts, John McFarlane failed to land the conversion and was then off target with a penalty attempt six minutes later.
It was a miss the visitors were to regret.
The scene had been perfectly set for Chris Johnson to step up and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
The fly-half edged his side back in front with a 66th-minute penalty before slotting over a 30-metre drop goal with five minutes remaining to extend the lead to four points.
It signalled the beginning of the end of Westoe’s brave challenge, which at one stage looked as if it would bring reward.
Although there was little to separate the sides in a very tight opening, Westoe’s growing dominance at the line-out was becoming a concern.
Jamie Fitzpatrick was halted at the last moment and McFarlane was unlucky to see a 16th-minute drop goal attempt drift wide.
But following the sin-binning of Wayne Fox for dissent in the 27th-minute, the momentum began to change.
Just before half-time, Johnson opened the scoring with a penalty.
But, as the visitors showed when they took the lead, there was still a long way to go.
The victory came eventually, however, strengthening Huddersfield’s grip on second spot and putting them four points clear of third-placed Birkenhead Park and five ahead of fourth-placed Westoe.
Leaders Kendal defeated Altrincham Kersal 48-5 to maintain their 100% record.
Huddersfield: McLaren; Ainsworth, Paxman (B), Paxman (L), Collins; Johnson, Clayton; Howard, Davies, Stringwell, Rhodes, Harris, Hinchliff, Whitehead, Sowerby. Subs: McPhail, Sharpe, Morgan.
Westoe:Bell; Olugbodie, Haswell (G), Haswell (D), Fitzpatrick; McFarlane, Judson; Nesbit, Tennett, Elliott, Younghusband, Cookson, Foster, Fox, Smith. Subs: Bird, Furbank, Ellis.
Referee: Kevin Warwick.