MACCLESFIELD 15-26 HUDDERSFIELD - MATCH REPORT

Published: 24/09/2018

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By Brandon Reeves

Huddersfield came away from Priory Park having managed to end the Macclesfield away day hoodoo with a 26-15 victory, helped by a Kian Stewart brace.

The bonus point win was underlined by a dominant performance throughout most of the game, Huddersfield keeping the Blues at arm’s length for the better part of the eighty.

The only time Field looked like succumbing to serious pressure was when they were down to thirteen and then twelve men in the latter stages, but always carried a dangerous counter-threat.

The first half largely failed to take off after Macclesfield opened the scoring in six minutes with a Tom Morton penalty.

After that the half was a quiet affair for nearly half an hour, battling for territory, but playing the game more often than not in the Blues’ half.

But then following a Macclesfield yellow for Adam McCarthy, it burst into action for Field.

Using their man advantage, Dickie Piper exited the driving maul from ten metres on the blindside to touch down a fairly easy score giving Huddersfield a lead, instantly punishing the fourteen men.

If their opening try was from a straightforward penalty, their second was a show of how they can use the ball quickly.

From a penalty on the twenty-two Joe Green took a tap and run to set Field going. They worked the ruck well, finding Mark Pease who showed good composure and hands in assisting Kian Stewart from the wing with a score.

It was a glimpse from Pease, playing at Ten on the day, of his man of the match performance. The backs player/coach kicked well when needed and orchestrated his backs with authority at times.

Will Milner kicked through a conversion from a tight position near the touchline to give Field the nine-point lead at the break.

The whole side were having a good day, really pressing the issue with their hosts, and after the restart, went to put their boot on the neck of Macclesfield.

From another penalty ten minutes into the second, Field kicked for a lineout in the corner.

It was their powerful maul at play again, the forwards keeping the drive to the line going until finally forcing their way across the whitewash, with another try from Piper. Will Milner doing the business with the boot again to extend it to a sixteen-point lead.

Not to be outdone by their forwards, Field’s backs were to feature again in the next score.

Just inside Macclesfield’s half, the ball was turned over directly into Field hands, the ball found its way into Lewis Workman’s hands before the centre set off on a mazy twenty-metre run through the defence.

The blues couldn’t handle the pace, and with Kian Stewart providing an overlap on the outside, Field were in for a fourth try, scored by Stewart and converted again by Milner.

While much of the plaudits go to the scorers and the playmakers of the day, Tom Hodson at fullback earned his keep this week also. He impressed while being on the end of kicks and positioning himself perfectly to stem the flow of a period Macclesfield possession and attacks.

It was work like this that gave Field the platform they had to go and play the way they did.

At 26-3 with fifteen minutes to go, it was nearly job done, but for a late Macclesfield onslaught.

Starting with a James Hampson try straight from kickoff. The blues won a penalty and kicked to touch. Eventually working the lineout forward to the line, and moved the ball quickly across to one of two spare men on the far side, Hampson being the one to run one in.

Five minutes later, the Macclesfield lineout was Field’s undoing yet again. More quick play in Field’s twenty-two and a dash between the gap by Blues’ Lomax and they had some momentum, Morton kicked to finish the scoring.

Then Field, down to thirteen, then twelve had a job on to see out the final minutes, but they managed to even get close to another try, Jack Maplesden and Lewis Bradley’s breakaway was stopped just short of the line.

But they saw it through to earn their first win at Macclesfield, first away win of the season, and now back-to-back wins ahead of the visit of Leicester Lions next week.

Head Coach Gareth Lewis said “This was our best team performance so far this season.

“We played with tempo, physicality and the accuracy that was missing from the previous week.

“However, I think we probably left twenty points out there and we should’ve been in a far comfortable position in the closing stages.”

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