Loughborough Students 28
Huddersfield RU 19
HUDDERSFIELD put in a very good performance against the National II North League leaders before finally having to bow to the super-fit Students.
Indeed, at one stage, Huddersfield held a 13-point lead and threatened to cause a major upset after Chris Johnson had banged over a couple of long-range penalties and then converted a try by scrum half Joel Hinchliff after Huddersfield’s forwards had applied huge pressure at a scrum.
Unfortunately for the visitors they had prop Tony Stringwell sin-binned shortly before half-time, and it was a 19-minute period either side of the break that was to prove pivotal.
Loughborough took advantage from a line-out and scored from a rolling maul to reduce the deficit to 13-5, and within minutes of the second half re-start were over again.
Another penalty put them level, before the benefit of superior fitness and playing with the advantage of the slope and wind in their favour saw Students push on for victory, another of their three tries coming from a rolling maul.
To their credit, Huddersfield continued to stick to their guns, and attacked with purpose – the returning Matt Clarke proving a handful – while for the most part their defence was pretty solid, especially man-of-the-match winger James Wood, who had to mark a real flier on the opposite side.
Field rang the changes in the closing stages, and following a Johnson break, substitute Mark Whitehead could possibly have gone over had the ball reached him, but luckily on the next play, replacement scrum half Damian Clayton did finish the game off with a flourish crossing for a late try.
Huddersfield: Owen; Sutcliffe, Paxman (B), Clarke, Wood; Johnson, Hinchliffe; Slater, Davies, Stringwell, Harris, Rhodes, Lewis, Sharpe, Hyde. Subs: Clayton, Whitehead, McPhail (all used).