|Today’s game was a very important one for all involved, a win in today’s fixture could see the Hawks fly into the quarter finals of the Northern Rail Cup. Not only would this be a great achievement I’m sure it would also boost the confidence of the side. Despite out rivals Doncaster being a Championship 1 side they were by no means going to be easy opponents.
10 minutes in and it was clear to see that the pitch conditions were going to be a big factor both teams would be wanting to play safe sets to ensure they gave away minimal possession. The Hawks seemed to be handling it better, allowing great movement of the ball this and the pace of the backs was tearing the Doncaster defence apart. Steve Lewis, the first to spot the opportunity, breaking away from the tackle and powering over the line, players still hanging on to him. Ratcliffe just missing out on the two to make it 4-0. After last week’s defeat at Leigh, the Hawks attacking display was much improved with inventive play highlighting outstanding efforts of players such as wings Tuffour and Brickwood. Doncaster’s lack of discipline assisted the Hawks in making their way towards the line hoping to rack up some more points. It was up to hooker Luke Haigh to try and create a little bit of magic; a dummy ball to Marchy worked a treat and allowed Luke to double back on himself and sprint through the gap he had created. As ‘Grimma’ slotted back into the stand off position his experience shone with football in hand he helped make sure the Hawks played out the half with the upper hand. A 10-0 lead was no more than the home side deserved forwards Oakesy, Blakey and Yatesy laying the platform which had created many of the opportunities in the first 40 minutes. A very positive start.
Doncaster wasted no time getting back into things. A short kick through on the third tackle of the first set; an unsuspecting Hawks defence failed to react to the loose ball and Carl Hughes came racing in and got his hand to it. Sanderson added the two and Doncaster had fought for a place on the board. Skipper David March made the break of all breaks darting towards the line, a sly show and go, then a late ball to center Oakes was the perfect try combination. The Hawks were not playing badly, far from it, but a bigger focus in defence could have prevented what came next the visitors scored only 15 minutes from the end, proving all was not over. It was now time for the Hawks to settle things down and keep a hold of the points they had earned. Dooler and Nathaniel ensured that Doncaster stayed a safe distance from the line. As the end neared, the home side looked dangerous as the ball traveled across field Marchy, Blakey, Clayton and finally to Brickwood who rounded things off with a fantastic finish. Rats did his bit and sent the ball hurtling through the sticks, the hooter sounded with the score board at 20-10. An exciting game of rugby league in bad conditions displayed by the Hawks today who were rewarded with a place in the quarter finals.
Hopefully as the league kicks off next week a few more displays like this will see some very successful results. The players are beginning to gel and Barry must be very pleased with the way things are progressing.
Man of the Match Today: John Oakes
Well done to the all the lads
See you next week in Halifax for the first game of the league