Featherstone Rovers arrived at South Leeds Stadium for the Quarter Final of the Northern Rail Cup on a lovely spring evening. Rovers were favourite to win the competition and it was little surprise to anyone in the ground when they stormed into an early lead. Tony Tonks barged over the Hunslet line to score under the posts with Liam Finn adding the extra two Rovers had 6-0 lead after 7 minutes. This was followed by three quick tries in the next 13 minutes from Bryn Powell, Andy Kain and Jon Grayshon, two of which were converted to put Featherstone 22-0 up after just 20 minutes. Hunslet thought they had pulled back 4 points when Danny Grimshaw grounded a David March grubber but one of a series of questionable decisions by referee Jamie Leahy overruled the score. Hunslet seemed to have steadied their defence and were beginning to pull together, their line was only broken once more when centre Jon Grayshon dummied Stuart Kain crossing the line and with the conversion added Rovers had a 28-0 lead at the break. It had been a half of penalties and missed tackles but the ten minutes before half time had seen the Hawks compose themselves and this was to continue into the second half.
The Hawks looked to be a different side in the second half giving Featherstone a run for their money and showing how they can really play. Waine Pryce and Elliot Kear seemed to be the stand out players of the game and it was the duo that set up the first try for the Hunslet side, when Waine Pryce slipped behind Kear receiving a great ball and cut inside the Rovers line to score. Elliot showed his versatility adding the extra two points from a difficult conversion upping the score to 28-6. Even though there was a visible improvement in Hunslet’s defence Featherstone’s superiority showed with them crossing the line on 50 and 57 minutes, scorers being Tony Tonks (for his second) and Stuart Dickens, both tries converted the score was now 40- 6. Hunslet were playing much better and were rewarded with the try of the game when the ever impressive Elliot Kear broke through close to the half way line leaving the Rovers defence flat footed. Kear converting his own try, the final Hawks points had been scored. Despite the improvement in the Hunslet side Featherstone added yet another two tries and one conversion. Before the end of the game, Hunslet were unlucky not to have added another try themselves, when Danny Grimshaw was bundled out over the corner flag. A 50-12 defeat seemed a bit of a harsh score line when for periods of the game Hunslet played some good football and matched the Rovers in many departments.
After the game Gary Lord said, “The lads worked hard throughout the game although their discipline cost them too many points and territory”
Back to the Championship next week with the vist from Toulouse when hopefully the boys will get back on track.
See you at The South Leeds Stadium next Sunday for a 1’oclock kick off.