Hunslet RLFC travelled to Odsal for their toughest test of the season so far against promotion favourites Bradford Bulls today (25 March 2018). A tough and at times scrappy match saw the Bulls win 32-12.
Hunslet had won their last eight competitive matches, but had yet to meet any of the top teams in League 1 this season after a league game against Whitehaven and their Challenge Cup match against today’s opponents were both called off due to snow.
Hunslet started brightly and scored down the left hand side through Joel Gibson on 9 minutes. The conversion gave Hunslet a 0-6 lead.
But Bradford came straight back with Sam Hallas scoring twice from dummy half in five minutes. Dalton Grant scored the first of his hat-trick on 28 minutes, in the corner after a high bomb was fumbled. Joe Keyes just missed the kick from the corner and the teams went in at half time with Bradford Bulls leading 16-6.
Grant carried on where he had left off, scoring again four minutes after the break. Dane Chisholm extended the lead to 24-6 on 52 minutes, Keyes unable to convert either try.
Hunslet narrowed the gap to 12 points with a well executed move learned on the training ground, Dean Roberts finishing the move with his first try for the club.
Dalton Grant completed his hat-trick ten minutes before the hooter, with the conversion the Bulls now led 30-12 and the game was seen out with a penalty goal.
Final score: Bradford Bulls 32-12 Hunslet RLFC
Speaking to BBC Radio Leeds after the game Hunslet Coach Gary Thornton said he was disappointed that his side hadn’t been able to play as he knew they could and at times gave the Bulls too much respect. But he said:
“We haven’t got anything to fear when we play them on Easter Monday”
Thornton was referring to the re-arranged Challenge Cup tie. However he stressed that the League was Hunslet’s main focus and that games against Keighley on Good Friday and at Oldham a week on Sunday were just as important.