Dan Hawkhead: Hunslet Warriors vs East Leeds
Hunslet Hold East’s Comeback
Despite a second half comeback from East Leeds, Hunslet Warriors held their own to win 16-14 on home turf.
The Warriors started the game with a perfect combination of strong defence and lethal attacking. Captain Harry Shackleton got Hunslet on the front foot after a high bomb was dropped by the Easts Leeds fullback. Rhys Greenall reclaimed the ball and threw the ball back for Shackleton to score by the sticks. Converting his own try, Hunslet led 6-0.
East Leeds brought the scores level off the back of numerous penalties. Finding his team inches away from the tryline, Danildo Goncalves used his strength from the play of the ball to touch down. David Gibbons converted bringing the scores level at 6-6.
The Warriors took the lead on the next set through Robbie Davidson. A penalty was awarded for pushing at the ball play turning possession over to Hunslet. A great wide passing movement, on the 4th tackle, saw Shackleton link nicely with Greenall who supplied the offload for Davidson to slide in. The conversion missed making the score 10-6.
Shackleton rounded off the half, grabbing his second of the game. A 5th tackle kick was kicked back by East Leeds letting the Warriors have a repeat set. Spotting the space in behind the defensive line, Shackleton weaved a grubber through, beating defenders to touch the ball down. Converting the try, the Warriors led 16-6 at the half time break.
The second half saw East Leeds turn the tables. Centre Liam Tindall scored a brace of tries to bring the score to within two points. Both tries came from wide passing movements that Hunslet couldn’t deal with and the brute strength of the attacker. Neither of the tries were converted making the last 15 minutes very nervous for the onlooking fans.
Both teams looked to score and secure a victory, Hunslet being held up over the tryline three times and East Leeds making crucial half breaks to give them field position. Tempers flared but as the final whistle sounded, the blue and blacks had claimed a close victory.
With the Challenge Cup final against Skirlaugh Bulls next week, will Hunslet win their first silverware of the campaign?
Lunn, Dargan, Brayshaw, Davidson, Hawkhead, Maloney, Shackleton, Hambly, Edwards, Rainey, Kibidi, D.Naughton, Greenall Subs: S.Naughton, Hartley, Hamilton
T: Shackleton 2, Davidson C: Shackleton 2/3
Linley, Storey, Bull, Tindall, D.Gibbons, Crossland, Laverick, Thompson, J.Gibbons, Goncalves, McKenzie, Levine, Girmay
T: Goncalves, Tindall 2 C: D.Gibbons 1/3
By Dan Hawkhead