|The first league game of the season saw the Hawks travel to The Shay for a fixture against Halifax with a new head coach and exciting additions to the squad. Hopefully this season will be one to look forward to.
In recent weeks defence had been a success for the Hawks but this certainly wasn’t apparent today. Shirt grabbing didn’t prove effective as Halifax’s Anthony Thackeray and Sean Penkywicz both managed to cut through the line and score 2 tries converted and 12-0 down was not a safe position to be in. The sun was shining, which had created the perfect playing conditions, the ball moved up and down the field of play freely, Luke Haigh, Steve Lewis and Ryan Benjafield playing important roles in forcing the side into ‘fax’ territory. Despite the improved attacking play nothing came of it and defence had still not picked up. Thackery received the ball from what looked to be a forward pass, not seen by the referee, and snuck through for his second.
Barry made some important substitutions, one being hard working forward Neil Lowe who returned back to the scene after injury and, fresh from the bench, he looked dangerous with ball in hand. Ten minutes before half time Lowey thundered over the try line taking 2 or 3 defenders with him to score under the sticks. Danny Rat converted and the pair had restored a bit of faith back into the side. The defence should, for the last 10 minutes, have been on the ball but instead they allowed ‘fax’ to score 2 more easy tries, leaving the score at 28-6. If things carried on like this it was going to end up a heavy defeat. Hopefully a few words at the break from boss Eaton would boost the confidence and remind the boys that they were more than capable of making a comeback.
Halifax again managed to open up the second half with two quick tries. The side looked in to be in a desperate situation but the Hawks had been creators of their own misfortune, some sloppy passes, unnecessary off loads and far too many penalties been given away (although some of the decisions did seem a little harsh!). But a tough 15 minutes were over and the Hawks regained some composure, the forwards and backs working brilliantly together before two long passes and it was Watson this time who dived over the line grabbing an essential 4 points for the Hawks. They didn’t stop there, and just two minutes later Benjafield fancied his chances, he made the perfect decision on the last play holding the ball close to him he powered through a gap left of the sticks to score. The side had managed to really pull it back, they had not caught up with Halifax but it was there 2nd half effort that had shone through.
Hunslet’s travelling support had been vocal throughout outsinging 2000 ‘fax’ supporters to show the lads that they were also right behind them. The home side just managed to keep up the pace until the final hooter and the fullback grounded the ball on 80 minutes granting Halifax the final points.
At 44-18 the score line reflects a game that had not necessarily been one of the better ones this year. To be fair to the Hawks, they were missing some of their key players, notably half back duo Helliwell and Grimshaw, as well as winger Kainy. Hopefully in the coming weeks our performances and results will be much improved.
Well done to all the boys
See you at South Leeds next week for the first home league match against Sheffield Eagles, which kicks off at 3pm (why not bring your Mum for a treat?).