On a day not overly conducive for running rugby as Storm Brian took hold the Foresters managed to provide some entertainment for the hardy faithful that had turned up at The Avenue on Saturday afternoon.
With a number of regular players taking their place in the 1st XV and unavailable the Foresters took to the field with a number of unfamiliar faces in the squad. Talk before the match was to control the ball and scores would materialise. This was to be the case as the patched up Foresters squad played their best rugby of the season so far.
Playing with the slope in the first half, the pack got into their stride early and took the game to the larger Huddersfield pack and this resulted in a push over scrum try for No.8 Chris Swainson which was converted by Jack Johnson who had an assured afternoon in the fly halves jersey.
More good play by the forwards laid the platform for scrum half Will Lawn to break from a midfield ruck on the opposition 22 and stroll in under the sticks. Once again it was converted by Johnson for 14-0 lead within 15 minutes.
The ball was regained from the kick off and territory was gained downfield and Johnson converted a penalty kick.
A brief period of complacency and cheap penalties given away by the Foresters allowed Huddersfield to work their way upfield and cross the whitewash for an unconverted try.
After a few choice words under the posts from the skipper, the Foresters got back on track when Kieran Frost received the ball on the wing, covered some ground and created space on the inside for Adam Stockdale to finish from 20 yards out. The conversion was missed.
Once again, the ball was regained from the kick off and territory was gained downfield and Johnson converted a penalty.
With half time approaching, continuous phases of play and good hands allowed prop Jack Wells to scamper in under the posts from 10 yards. Johnson converted.
Half time 32-5
With the wind and rain picking up in the second half, the Foresters playing up the slope stuck to the game plan on keeping ball and this resulted in Johnson converting another penalty.
After a brief period of respite on the Huddersfield line with some solid defensive displays from both sides a scrappy clearing kick to the returning Eddie Gill deep in his own half saw him gain ground upfield and feed the supporting Charlie Graham, who with good feet and pace, showed a clean pair of heels to the Huddersfield defenders, and went in under the posts. Johnson converted.
With all substitutes used and the larger Huddersfield pack tiring, the Foresters pack gained a penalty try for a scrum infringement which 7 points added to the scoreboard.
The game finished with Johnson crossing the whitewash for a try after good work down the left wing by both backs and forwards.
Full Time 54-5
Wharfedale: – 1. Jack Wells, 2. Jake Parkinson, 3. Jack Hirst, 4. Rhys Davies (c), 5. Kieran Frost, 6. Jake Starkey, 7. Jack Kitching, 8. Chris Swainson, 9. Will Lawn, 10. Jack Johnson, 11. Charlie Graham, 12. Sam Mason, 13. Oliver Snowdon, 14. Adam Stockdale,
15. Sam Arkwright.
Subs: – 16. George Altham, 17. Tom Jackson, 18. Jacob Taylor, 19. Joe Fawcett,
20. Eddie Gill
Following the game both the squad and management were happy with the complete performance on a testing day.
The squad was getting back to something like the Foresters of old after some scrappy weeks.
Thanks to Huddersfield for competing for the full 80 minutes.
Onwards and upwards to Darlington Mowden Park next Saturday.