Huddersfield 9-22 Harrogate
Callum Irvine scored a scintilating first half try as Harrogate claimed victory in the Yorkshire derby at Huddersfield on Saturday.
As is becoming the norm, this match was played on a gluepot of a pitch and both sides deserve credit for the standard of rugby that was produced. In these conditions, Harrogate’s domination of the set pieces was crucial.
Early Huddersfield forays were well contained by Harrogate, who counter attacked from good turnover ball and went ahead through a Lewis Minikin penalty.
However, Huddersfield kicker Chris Bell soon equalised when Harrogate were penalised at a ruck.
A long Danny Matthews clearing kick led to a home defensive line-out but Sam Brady stole Huddersfield’s ball. When Huddersfield then went off side in defence and Minikin’s penalty put Harrogate back ahead.
More Harrogate pressure followed from an incisive Noel MInikin midfield break but ‘Field’s defence held firm until an opportunistic Irvine drop goal extended the lead.
Huddersfield continued to tackle well but the continued pressure led to an inevitable offside offence and Lewis Minikin kicked another penalty goal.
Irvine then scored the game’s only try just short of the break when he ghosted through the cover and accelerated to score in the corner. Minikin added a touchline conversion to make the half time score 19-3.
Both sides had well organised defences and the increasingly boggy conditions made attacking play difficult in the second half.
When Harrogate went offside, Bell’s penalty reduced the lead and, midway through the half, another successful kick made it 9-19.
A valuable Huddersfield bonus point seemed to be a possible target but, as time was running out, they went offside and L Minikin’s final penalty effectively ended the match.
Huddersfield: Hodson, Workman, Hodgson, Grainger, Fletcher, Bell, Hinchcliffe, Battye, Bradley, Tamanis, Thompson, G Rhodes, N Rhodes, Hoyle, Malthouse.
Subs: Parfitt, Stringwell, Jeffrey, Walker, Owen.
Harrogate: L Minikin, Bottomley, N Minikin, Frost, Aspin, Irvine, Matthews, Boyce, Larder, Reaveley, J Brady, S Brady, Harvey, J Coser, Enslin.
Subs: Maycock, Ward, G Coser, Nesbitt, Wickham
Referee: Jonathon Cook (Northern)