LEICESTER LIONS 23-28 HUDDERSFIELD - MATCH REPORT

Published: 21/01/2019

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By Brandon Reeves

Huddersfield had to overcome a poor start at Westleigh Park to come from 10 points down and leave the midlands with a bonus point win over Leicester Lions.

It was also a very good day elsewhere in the league for Field, not only for their fourth successive victory, as the three sides around them all fell to defeat.

Hull Ionians at the top were beaten by Wharfedale, Chester were swept aside by Tynedale and Fylde lost to Field’s next opponents Sheffield Tigers.

But the day started less auspiciously than it finished as Leicester ran in two early tries.

The first, in less than a minute, happened too easily as fullback Max Titchener wriggled clear of porous defending to get the game’s first score.

Harry Key started the day with Lions’ kicking duties but floundered with the boot after hitting the post twice in his first two conversion attempts.

Field put themselves under undue pressure soon after when an uncharacteristic knock-on from Tom Hodson started a spell of pressure that ended with a yellow card for Chris Johnson and Lions doubling their score.

Johnson was charged with foul play at his own line before Lions kicked to the corner and drove their maul before Oli Taylor went over.

Field after that set about redressing the balance of play in their favour.

They would find success in the match with their makeshift pack causing havoc.

Lions inability to first deal with that sparked the visitor’s first try.

From an advantage from a maul situation, Joe Green went for a kick toward the corner that bounced kindly to Lewis Workman from the wing before touching down.

Ten minutes later Field were in the lead with more mauling of the Lions.

Down the right-hand side again the drive went all the way to the line before Mark Chivers got himself a try, with Chris Johnson kicking the points.

After turning around the deficit, Field gave Lions a way back into the match just before half-time.

With a five metre scrum the exited to the right where winger Sam Benjamin was on hand to nudge Lions ahead on the scoreboard by a point, Key’s kick missing again.

But Field coming out for the second half still had an upper hand in the flow of the play. It wasn’t a long while before Dickie Piper was over.

Lions’ Oli Taylor was showed a yellow before Field kicked for the corner, in a near carbon-copy of what Lions did in the first half when Taylor himself scored. The maul was effective again and Piper went over after another powerful drive.

Despite the extra man, Field couldn’t find an extra score, so Lions came back soon after they were back at full-strength. This time it was Lions turn to have a big maul drive, and Taylor’s time for a second try. Not that it was against the run of play, but it was from a period in play where Field had control.

This time Lions changed kicking duties to their number 10 Daniel Lewis, but the outcome was the same as the kick fell short.

Field had the lead by a point and Lions at the door.

By rights they should have been a few points behind but the host’s inability to kick points left them with an uphill battle.

Especially so when Harry Whitfield put a seal on proceedings with a score.

Field got themselves under the post and went through the phases before Whitfield peeled off and found a way through.

Johnson’s kick ended the scoring for the day, but Lions came back with a penalty kick that went through the posts immediately.

The law of averages meant that one had to go over eventually, and Lewis was the man to get the three points.

However, Field managed to see out the game with relative security and take the five points back to Lockwood Park.

Head coach Gareth Lewis was pleased with his side’s maul on the day and the five points in the bag.

He said: “It was a really poor opening 15 minutes and we made too many uncharacteristic individual errors, but despite going ten points down we always looked capable of turning it around.

“Our maul game was as good as it’s been all season today and highlights the fact that this team can win games in different ways.

“I thought the character of the lads to stay in the fight was fantastic and we’ve come through another tough task with a valuable five points.”

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