Following three seasons establishing themselves in National League 2 North, HRUFC’s First XV finished in their highest position to date and is in a position of strength to build upon the hard work and foundations which have been put in place to push once again for a respectable league position in this 2011/12 season.
'Field started brightly enough with four wins out of their first six fixtures, taking the scalps of Morley, Kendal, Harrogate and Nuneaton along the way, however a six game winless streak and a series of postponed matches, which resulted in the side only taking to the field twice in nine weeks, halted any momentum.
The second half of the 2010/2011 season saw the First XV move up the table from just above the bottom third to the top half following nine wins and a draw in the run up to the final game of the lengthiest of campaigns. The 13-10 win over promotion-chasing Loughborough Students being the standout result.
The season, though, will be best remembered for the side winning the Yorkshire Cup for the first time since 1890. They were under friendly club pressure to do so, as the Academy side won the Under 19 Yorkshire Cup a week earlier!
Despite being down to 12 men at one stage in the final at York with three men in the sin-bin, and a 19-9 penalty count against them, Huddersfield dug deeper than they have done all season with a tremendous display. Four penalties and a drop goal from Chris Johnson – and second-half tries from Lee Paxman and James Wood – sent the large travelling band of 'Field supporters wild with delight.
Johnson went on to finish the season with a points tally of 387 – the best in the league and some 63 clear of his nearest challenger, Westoe’s Mark Ireland. Fifteen tries were included in a record-breaking season for the fly-half.
The First XV squad consists of a blend of experience and youth. Many of the younger members of the squad have graduated through the club’s excellent academy system, and some of the more experienced players have returned to Lockwood Park having progressed to play in higher leagues. This ‘full circle’ approach provides a depth of knowledge and encouragement which aspiring young players thrive on. The club ethos, history and social environment makes new and old players alike feel like they are party of a much bigger picture which dates back to 1909.
Our coaching philosophy within the Club is one which involves developing the players skill levels, fitness and commitment which in turn enables the First XV to play with structure and a common understanding of game, whilst always allowing the freedom of expression on the pitch.
We have and are currently forging close links with top Premiership and Championship clubs in the region. These links allow us the ability to periodically utilise specialist coaching normally reserved for professional ranks, further developing our players' skill levels, mental approach and understanding of the game. These relationships allow players to be monitored, whilst they gain the valuable experience of National League first XV rugby and those which have the correct attitude and dedication have opportunity of moving on towards a full-time professional rugby environment, always with the full support of the Club and its members.
If you feel you would like to be part of what we have at Lockwood Park and believe that we can aid you in your aspirations as a player, then do not hesitate to come and pay the Club a visit. We look forward to meeting you!
Fixtures and results
View all First XV 2012/13 season fixtures and results