Hunslet was the place to be for Rugby League today. As the Hawks took on the All Stars in a pre-season clash; after the success of last year’s fixture there was many in attendance hoping for an exciting game. This afternoon would also give Barry Eaton the chance to see his newly formed squad perform for the second time as the players fight for their first team places.
Early domination from the Hawks was already an improvement on last week’s game at Featherstone. The boys led from the off and were enjoying controlling play, the first real test coming as the All Stars finished their opening set with the high ball, Mapals handled it and made 10 metres down field. Grimshaw encouraged the first try with a spiralling pass out to Brickwood he slid over in the corner for the 4 points. Danny’s return to the Hawks had been a positive for the fans after his performances with them 2 seasons ago and they were hoping for much of the same this year. Unfortunately for the All Stars, Hunslet continued to run the show with two tries in 10 minutes the first a full length try from winger Mapals the next a surging run from Welham; Ansell was unlucky with the boot and the score rest at 12-0 with ten minutes left before the break. It was not only the attack that the Hawks had mastered though, the defence on the line had been outstanding and they focussed on reducing the yards the All Stars made. Their efforts paid off with another try to go to half time with Marchy leading the charge, ignorant of defenders clinging to him he still got himself in the perfect position to get a ball away to Lewis who placed it down on the sound of the hooter for half time; Marchy attempted to convert his own but pushed it just wide but the Hawks were happy with a comfortable 16-0 advantage at the break.
The All Stars were up for the second half challenge not wanting to disappoint their fans and they looked like they had managed to get a try within the first 5 minutes but the officials judged the pass to be forward. They would not give up however and were making use of the Hawks spell of in-completed sets. Lee Brickwood started off the scoring the same way as in the first half with a simple try in the corner. It didn’t take long until the Hawks were back looking for points with David Clayton spotting a gap for himself, he took advantage of slack defence and kicked it through the gap for Mapals to finish off. The Hawks didn’t stop there and the structure and completion rate this half allowed them to be much more confident in attack. The boys managed to score 3 more tries in the space of 20 minutes Mapals securing his hat-trick and new boy Jonny Payne opening up his scoring tally. The All Stars had let themselves down in attack but the Hawks boys had really done themselves proud in playing until the last minute; the improvement in fitness levels was obvious and with more of the squad to come back in the coming weeks this Hunslet side are going to really make an impact in the championship this year! As the final whistle blew a score of 40-0 didn’t do the All Stars justice they had put up a very good fight and played well in the later stages of the first half!
Today’s game was the second in hopefully many clashes between these two Hunslet sides! It is a fixture that attracts many fans and also showcases the talent in amateur teams from the Hunslet area; it is very important to the Hawks that players in the surrounding community are getting noticed! Thank you too all the players who joined us from the Warriors and The Old Boys today!
Well done to Barry and the boys.