By Richard Sykes
Three unconverted tries in each half delivered a decisive, if not totally straightforward, 30-18 win for Huddersfield RU at Luctonians at Mortimer Park.
The six-try effort pushed Gareth Lewis’s side up to sixth in the National II North table.
Having established early control in the scrummages, Huddersfield were 10 points up after a quarter of an hour.
First over the whitewash was hooker Francis Entressengle.
Some good work by Adam Malthouse and scrum half Joel Hinchliffe created the opener with lock Austen Thompson rounding off a fine passage of play for the second.
Huddersfield were dominating by controlling possession and producing competent, threatening phases.
However, in a bizarre twist, the game took on a different complexion in the second quarter.
A penalty by Luctonians fly half Sam Boxhall had put them on the scoresheet but, when prop Zac Watkins was red carded on the half hour, it looked as though any chance of a comeback was slim.
The touch judge had spotted Watkins throwing a punch, but his dismissal seemed to galvanise the home side and lead to complacency in their visitors’ ranks.
When Huddersfield carelessly lost possession during an attack, centre Frank Kelly picked up the loose ball and ran three quarters the length of the pitch for a try which Boxhall converted.
Two minutes later flanker Seb Robinson was in for a second after a clever chip over the Huddersfield defence.
Although Boxhall missed the conversion, another penalty nearing half time extended the lead of the 14 men to eight points.
With Luctonians looking energised and Huddersfield decidedly lacklustre and disjointed, the travelling faithful were beginning to fear a third successive defeat might be on the cards.
However, on the stroke of half time, a precise grubber kick into the in-goal area by fly half Harry Davey produced a try for Brandon Conway which narrowed the gap and provided a lifeline incentive for
The second half started with 14 men on each team following a yellow card for Hinchliffe just before the break.
Luctonians threatened early on but seven minutes in Huddersfield started to produce some joined up rugby once again.
In a continuous passage of play they worked the ball from their own 10m line to the tryline at the other end.
Luctonians managed to hold the ball up but, behind the resulting five-metre scrum, Hinchliffe nipped in for the bonus-point try shortly after his return to the field of play.
On 58 minutes Conway got his second score. From a scrummage on the Luctonians 22 the ball was passed left along the three-quarter line, with a crafty flip over the last defender delivering the ball into the winger’s lap for the touchdown.
The home side responded and had Huddersfield under the cosh again when winger Danny Grainger found himself isolated close to his line.
However, support arrived and Davey rescued the situation with a fine break out of defence.
With 10 minutes remaining, Thompson got his second and the final try of the match.
Solid possession behind a solid scrum once again provided the key to the breakthrough. The ball was moved from left to right and Thompson finished the move in the midst of a maul in the right hand corner.
Luctonians produced a spirited show in the dying minutes but Field held firm.
The bonus-point win lifts Huddersfield to sixth place in the table with the defeat condemning the hosts to the bottom spot.