HRUFC 59-7 ILKLEY - MATCH REPORT

Published: 13/02/2017

Huddersfield Rugby Union Club head coach Gareth Lewis was full of praise for his side after they won their 19th league game in a row, defeating Ilkley 59-7.

Although top tryscorer Elliot Hodgson remained on the sidelines, it didn’t stop Field from getting nine tries.

And Lewis beamed: “The performance was very impressive.”

Field showed they were refreshed from a two-week break since their last outing with a dominant and fast-paced start to the game, allowing back rower Adam Malthouse to score twice before 13 minutes and Chris Bell kicking the extras (14-0).

Lewis said: “We played to the game plan that we were looking for at the start.

“It’s hard when you’re winning games week in week out to avoid complacency, it is very tough, but the way they applied themselves was very impressive.”

A well-worked move from right to left enabled Danny Grainger to find himself free on the right to score,after a clever pass from Bell, who then put them 21-0 ahead.

Then from a line-out, prop Callum Thompson used his strength and determination to bundle himself over the line just before half time, making it 26-0 (Bell’s conversion was charged down).

Starting the second half, Huddersfield looked surprisingly off the pace and, to Ilkley’s credit, they came out revitalised and put together a strong 10-minute spell which Huddersfield survived unharmed.

Huddersfield have been working on the driving maul with Yorkshire Carnegie forward coach, Steve Boden, in training over recent weeks and it gave Lewis great satisfaction that the hard work paid off. “One of the highlights of the day was the driving maul, the try we scored from that, because just before Christmas things weren’t really working in the driving maul,” explained the coach.

So, when Chris Bell managed to grab his fourth try of the season from the driving maul, it was the coach’s “personal highlight of the day” (33-0).

That work was also evident for the sixth try as Nick Sharpe managed to find a gap in the opponents’ defence and get himself on the scoresheet, with Bell converting for 40-0.

Fitness has been a pivotal part to Huddersfield game this season, winning games emphatically in the final 20 minutes.

They managed another three tries on this occasion, with Tom Owen latching onto a knock on, Kristian Sharples scoring a try on his return to the squad after injury and Brandon Conway grabbing the side’s ninth of the game.

The clean sheet was something Field targeted before the game and they were disappointed they let Ilkley get on the scoresheet with two minutes to go, form a kick through which bounced past the covering defence.

Lewis added: “It was a bit of a soft try to concede at the end and took a little bit of the shine off it.

“But I was really pleased with the game plan, and the attitude of the lads was first class.”

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