South season starts with a WIN
With 9 try's and bonus points for both teams, it could have gone either way, with the class boot of Rickie Aley the deciding factor
SOUTH LEICESTER 44 HUDDERSFIELD 36
Huddersfield’s 26 match unbeaten league run came to an end at the last place they tasted defeat back in April 2016 in a high scoring and entertaining game at South Leicester.
The Yorkshire men got off to a perfect start when Will Milner touched down after a neat grubber kick through the home defence after an excellent Huddersfield scrummage. Joel Hinchliffe landed the first of his five successful kicks at goal with the conversion. South were back on terms on eleven minutes when Myles Bean cut swiftly inside from his wing to score under the posts. Fly half Rick Aley added the extras and his flawless kicking game was to prove to be the deciding factor in the match. Penalty points for both teams took the score to 13-10 on the half hour before Aley crafted the perfect cross field kick straight into the arms of Bean who scored his second try. Huddersfield finished the half strongly with their forwards driving hard and when Centre Tom Owen produced a neat side step after their good work to score centre field they trailed by only a single point at the interval. 18-17
The second half started badly for ‘Field’ when a try by Will Cave punished the visitor’s failure to take the long kick off at the re-start. However they responded well and put the home side under a lot of pressure with their forwards making some serious in roads through ‘South’s’ defensive line. Lewis Bradley bounced off three tackles on one such break and when eventually brought down managed to off load the ball to Nick Sharpe who scored from close range. However a penalty and a drop goal, both from well out, by Aley maintained the points advantage for his team. Another excellent line break by Bradley led to the try scoring bonus point. Huddersfield full back Lewis Workman rounding off the good work near the right hand touchline. Hinchliffe’s excellent conversion made the score level on 66 minutes. Moments later some careless indiscipline by ‘Field’ offered Aley a penalty chance on the 10 metre line which he knocked over with ease for ‘South’ to re-gain the lead.
Another fine spell by Huddersfield led to their fifth try of the game and put them in front with ten minutes remaining. Once again it was their big forwards who created the chance, driving the short channels and working the ball through several phases. A neat sleight of hand by Danny Grainger gave Sam Nunns the opportunity to finish the play with a try under the posts. Their lead lasted just two minutes when the impeccable Aley landed his fourth long range penalty. Another inch perfect cross field punt by Aley in injury time produced the final try of the match. The fly half picked up behind a solid South Leicester scrummage on the Huddersfield 22 and his kick landed straight down the throat of Will Cave for a simple score.
A penalty in stoppage time gave Huddersfield a chance to reduce the deficit to five points and secure a losing bonus point but Hinchliffe pulled his kick just wide of the posts.
Report by Richard K. Sykes (Rugby Union correspondent Huddersfield Daily Examiner)