The snow almost put an end to the Leeds Brewery Lazenby Cup clash but the wonderful volunteers who brought their shovels and cleaned the pitch allowed the cross city challenge to go ahead! The battle for the Lazenby Cup is always a big one but today would also be a good way of reflecting the partnership development that has taken place recently and show fans just how much it will benefit both clubs. Fans waited nervously for kick-off, who would prove victorious…
Hunslet back row forward Tommy Haughey was going to make sure that the opposition noticed him today and was aiming for the try line with some pretty impressive running down the right side; along with James Houston the Rhinos could feel the force of the Hawks. Skipper Marchy wanted the points though and was disappointed as a grubber that looked set to be scoring material just bounced dead. Brickwood was working hard in defence with plenty of big challenges and a few try saving efforts; however the Rhinos fullback had pace to burn and once he found his gap the Hawks were beaten for speed. Jimmy Watson crossed the line and gave his team the first points of the afternoon. The Rhinos side looked very inventive with the ball but the Hawks very own fullback Stuart Kain wasn’t afraid to put his body on the line dealing with any of the high kicks that came his way as well as proving vital in the backline defence. The Hawks supporters will have have had their eyes on the recently duel registered players Keinhorst, Hood and Watson, and they didn’t disappoint making a real effort for the Rhinos and showing just how much of an impact they could possibly make in the Championship this coming season. As predicted the Hawks would be pretty evenly matched with the Leeds side and they managed to keep them scoreless for 20 minutes, as well as including some try scoring attempts of their own. Grimshaw was running the lines and had players there to help but the Rhinos returned with strong defence and they gave the home side nothing. A questionable decision from the referee did offer the Rhinos an opportunity though, and they were more than happy to make something of it. This time as Josh Sunley latched onto a kick through to touch down between the posts. 10-0 for the break wasn’t a bad score and the game was certainly not over yet.
The Hawks didn’t want to disappoint and had their minds on the cup! Having almost all the possession in the second half they were throwing the ball around confidently. Kainy was almost over himself but just didn’t manage to get the height of the ball on his jump, and then Nathaniel looked a certain scorer as he gathered a loose ball in center field but was caught just short. Leeds were just as eager in attack though strong running prop forward Jordan Baldwinson made plenty of metres for his side, followed by Super League star Stevie Ward running circles round everyone but Hunslet controlled the game well. Prop Forward Andy Yates set us up in good position, Ansell handled it from the play before feeding a ball for Oakesy to run onto and score for the Hawks first! The crowds took to their feet with 10 minutes left on the clock could they do it? The ball was back in Hunslet possession and they were in Rhino territory as the referee signaled the play to 0 tackle the Hawks looked like they could slide over at any minute. But it didn’t pay off and they lost out on the points they needed. The game finished at 10-6 the Hawks had narrowly missed out to a very good Leeds side. The Lazenby Cup would once again belong to the Rhinos but the Hawks had given it all they had, it was a creditable performance.
Once again thanks’ must go to the volunteers who helped clear the pitch for the match to go ahead; the game was a brilliant one and had attracted a big crowd! Congratulations to the Leeds Rhinos, and a thank you to their travelling support. The start of the season next weekend is a fixture against the Barrow Raiders not to be missed!
Well done to Barry and the Boys.