Rugby League: Arnold boosts Huddersfield's ambitions

Huddersfield 24 Halifax 24
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Two late tries from Danny Arnold, one of the players signed this winter in preparation for Super League, gave Huddersfield a draw with their neighbours that can only help their confidence when they start the season in earnest.

The late salvage operation gave the newly elevated club a share of the revived Huddersfield Infirmary Cup. More importantly, it showed their supporters that after the Boxing Day debacle against Warrington they are at least going to have a stab at being competitive.

Huddersfield were well in the game throughout the first half and retook the lead when Paul Cook scored a spectacular 80-yard try early in the second.

However, the difference in the level of concentration required in moving up from the First Division seemed to have found them out when the defence opened up to allow Martin Pearson and Danny Seal through for tries.

But then Arnold, a pounds 50,000 recruit from St Helens, burst into life. After having one try disallowed for a forward pass, he struck in the 73rd and 78th minutes, getting over from close range on both occasions despite the presence of defensive cover.

"I was very pleased with the way Danny took his tries," the new Huddersfield coach, Garry Schofield, said. "That's why we were keen to bring him here. He's got plenty of speed and knows his way to the try-line."

It was unfortunate for Huddersfield that Cook, another player of proven quality on whom they will be relying next season, failed so narrowly with both kicks, hitting the post with the first and seeing the second drift inches wide. But a draw was a fair outcome of a game contested with more commitment than the average friendly and in which both sides had shown plenty of enterprising play.

Halifax, one of the few Super League sides who look potentially weaker on paper this year, must hope that a new influx of Australians will lift them when the serious competition starts.

Huddersfield: Cook; Barton, Bunyan, Hanger, Arnold; Weston, Orr; Fozzard, Russell, Bowes, Jackson, King, Berry. Substitutes used: Moore, Richards, Ward, Adams, Booth, Fulleylove, Milner, Bell.

Halifax: Bouveng; Marns, Tuilagi, O'Loughlin, Munro; Pearson, Dean; Marshall, Seal, Baldwin, Highton, Gillespie, Moana. Substitutes used: Hobson, Rushforth, Anselme.

Referee: G Shaw (Dewsbury).