The Game kicked off on a bright sunny afternoon with conditions underfoot still a bit sticky but nonetheless conducive to open play.
The Greens started without Colin Chapman who is out for 4 weeks following his concussion suffered at Wharfedale and also Jacob Hardy who is serving the last week of his suspension.
Following a tentative start by both teams, it was the home boys that were first on the scoreboard when James Dyson took a quick tap penalty and broke through the unprepared Huddersfield defence, to set up a series of drives, from which Matt Probert was able to touch down. Paul Cook added the extras and The Greens had taken a 7 points to nil lead after 5 minutes. The Field responded when they gained a position within the home ‘22’, for big tighthead prop Joshua Crickmay to bundle his way over. Will Milner converted to put his side level after 10 minutes of play.
For the next 15 minutes play remained fairly even but the home boys were conceding far too many penalties and at times losing valuable hard won territory. It was from one such an incident the visitors gained a position within the home ‘22’ and took advantage of a poor defensive lineout to go through the phases for Jack Maplesden to sneak through on the blind side. Milner added the extras and Huddersfield were now ahead by 14 points to 7. The Momentum was with the visitors and ten minutes later Lewis Workman was the beneficiary of the hard work of his pack as he crossed in the left hand corner. Miner struck an excellent conversion to give his team a 21 points to 7 lead with five minutes of the first half to play. Scunthorpe had demonstrated that they were able to drive back the Huddersfield pack at the mauls and had an excellent opportunity just before the break but they failed to secure the ball at a 5 metre lineout throw. The teams therefore went into the interval with Huddersfield leading by 21 points to 7.
Scunthorpe started the second period with a greater sense of purpose and whilst at times seeming to run the ball from very deep positions, they nontheless found the gaps in the visitors’ defence and Will Robinson was able to sprint into the left hand corner from half-way. Having lost Cook to injury towards the end of the first half, Robinson failed to convert and the score was therefore 21 points to 12 in favour of the visitors.
Huddersfield gained a position in the home ‘22’ and following a series of phases it was once more Crickmay that was able to force his way over the line. Milner again converted to put his side ahead by 28 points to 12 after 19 minutes of the second half. Scunthorpe had most of the play thereafter and desperate defence led to the visitors having a players yellow carded after 24 minutes. Tom Foster once more moved the ball out to the left where Will Scammell broke through on half-way and outpaced the cover defence to score out wide. Robinson was unable to add the extras but The Greens where one try away from a bonus point, with the scoreline now 28 points to 17 in favour of the visitors, 26 minutes into the second half. They continued to pressure the Huddersfield line and but for some composure at vital moments would have had another score. It was whilst driving for the Huddersfield line that the maul was illegally pulled down and another Field player sent to the bin that the referee may well have awarded a penalty try. Alas, it was not to be and the home boys had to settle for defeat by 28 points to 17. This is the closest that The Greens have been to gaining their first win going back to the reverse fixture at Huddersfield in September, so they can take some comfort from that and if the small errors are fixed then they may well gain that victory in the near future.
Next Saturday they undertake the long journey to Tynedale, who sit just in the lower half of the table, so will expect another tough encounter.
Match Report by Louie Clayton