Published: 8th April 2019
Huddersfield Giants Women defended their way to a closely fought 8-16 victory at Widnes Vikings yesterday, in a game that saw no less than eleven players making their debuts.
The Giants got to a slow start following kick off and Widnes to take an early lead through an unconverted try. The claret and gold quickly responded out wide through a spectacular Emmi Manning try showing the threat of speed on the flanks. Abby Price was unable to convert from the touch line seeing the score tied at 4-4.
Erin Stott soon extended the lead with an outstanding solo try going almost the length of the field after gathering the ball from an excellent offload from Manning. The scrambling Widnes defence forcing her towards the touch line making for an awkward conversion that Price was unable to convert making the score 4-8.
Widnes responded once more to level the scores through an unconverted try, taking advantage of strong work from their dominant forward pack. The deadlock wasn’t to last long however as Izzy Bibby ensured the Giants went into half time with a four point lead scoring off the back of some expansive play. 8-12.
The second half opened as it meant to go on with a tough forward battle emerging and some great defensive efforts from both teams, Caitlin Johnson making some excellent defensive efforts.
After an expended period camped on their own try line through multiple handling errors, Giants forward Jordanna Proctor re-entered the field and showed her experience to lead the young team out of their own half, relieving significant Widnes pressure.
In a nail-biting ending to the game, half back Erin O’Grady took the game beyond doubt, capitalising on a quick play the ball with an excellent run from dummy half, fending off multiple defenders to score under the posts to clinch the game.
Video: O’Grady puts the game beyond doubt with sensational solo try.
Assistant coach Ben Dawson was delighted with the victory. “Of course we are really pleased with a win in our first competitive game but more the character we showed, particularly in the second half. To dig in and secure a win in such a physical encounter, particularly with such a young playing group is testament to their character as a team. We had nine players in the starting 13 today under the age of 19, many of whom were playing their first open age game. I am really proud of all of them.”
Dawson and the squad know there are areas to improve, but praise was heaped on their defensive effort. “We have a few things we need to fine tune, particularly in possession, a lot of which will come as we get more game time together and work on a few things in training. I can’t fault our defence though. We dealt with huge amount of pressure in the second half from a strong set of Widnes forwards. To not concede in the second half and keep ourselves in the game under that pressure was outstanding, I am really proud, we just need to keep hold of the ball a little more to help ourselves”.
Co-captain Erin O’Grady took the Woman of The Match after an excellent performance seeing her pose a threat to the opposition each time she handled the ball. Erin Stott, Caitlin Johnson and Izzy Bibby also excelled for the Giants.
Huddersfield Giants Women will host Oulton Raidettes in the opening home fixture of the season on Sunday 14th April at Orchard FM Community Sports Park.
Kick Off 2pm
Season Card Holders & Concessions £2.00
Under 16’s FREE
Address: Huddersfield YMCA, New Hey Rd, Salendine Nook, Huddersfield, HD3 3XF.