HUDDERSFIELD Rugby Union Club’s Chris Johnson is leading the way as the top points-scorer in National II North this season.
Despite a disappointing run of three consecutive defeats for his side, the Lockwood Park club’s influential No10 still heads the list of scorers, having notched 21 penalties and 21 conversions, coupled with two tries for a total of 115 points, just five more than Ross Winney, from League leaders Macclesfield.
The 22-year-old, who won international honours last season when picked to play for the England Counties against Ireland and France, has a remarkable strike rate, having converted 21 of the 23 tries his side have run in so far this season.
Indeed, the last time Johnson failed to land a kick of any sort in a match was way back in March 2008 against Sheffield Tigers away.
But he was still on the scoreboard after grabbing the only try of the game in the 5-0 win at Dore Moor!
It is, in fact, the two tries he scored in the 60-0 thrashing of Bradford and Bingley in September which keeps Johnson at the top of the points-scoring list, as his nearest rival Winney has more conversions to his credit, thanks to his side having scored a lot more tries than Huddersfield.
And the Lockwood Park coaching staff are only too aware of the importance and the value Johnson has to the team.
Former Leeds Tykes and Otley player Dan Hyde, who returned to Huddersfield this season has both played with and against some of the best No10s in the country, and he is full of praise for his teammate.
“Johnno has a definite passion for the game and I rate him very highly,” said Hyde.
“He is extremely competitive, his distribution is first class and, on top of that, his kicking game is his big strength, which I know from watching him he works very hard on.
“When you have a kicker who is capable of knocking over a penalty from virtually anywhere on the field, and even from inside his own half, it is a good weapon to have on your side.
“And the great thing about Chris is that he is not simply content to rest on his laurels and continually wants to improve on every aspect of his game. He is quite keen to sit down and watch videos of games to see where he can learn and better himself.”
Johnson was the team’s top tryscorer last season with 12 to his name, four more than winger Matt Clarke and his skipper Mark Whitehead, and he will undoubtedly be eager to improve on his total this season, having crossed just twice in eight outings.
More importantly, however, is that he can keep knocking over the place kicks, continuing today when Huddersfield entertain Westoe as they attempt to return to winning ways. The last time that Huddersfield played Westoe (two seasons back) Johnson was the only scorer for his side with two penalties and a drop goal on each occasion.