As the mighty Hawks took on Super League new boys Widnes Vikings I’m sure the crowd were hoping the performance would mirror last season’s games. A storming win away and a narrow defeat at home, combined with a new and exciting side of players today was definitely going to be a game worth watching.
The Widnes Under 20’s had pace a plenty and seemed to be running rings around our home side and after barely 8 minutes Alex Brown was the first to score, the try was then converted. But Hunslet soon bounced back in the form of Lee Brickwood with a surprising sprint down the left wing leaving defenders shocked in centre field. Jack Bradbury took over kicking duties, his first a long range goal which he landed perfectly. In games like today when the weather was not on our side, defence was going to be crucial; unfortunately this wasn’t the case shirt grabbing from the Hawk’s allowed two late breakaway tries putting Widnes 10 points in front. The first half continued in much the same light both sides completing their sets having made minimal yards, and the try line still out of sight As the teams left for the break, the Hawks seemed to be in a position they should have been trying to avoid.
Whatever Barry said at the break must have worked as a more energised side took to the field and clever attacking tactics were apparent. Things were not looking so positive when the referee’s harsh decisions began to rule the game and Widnes took full advantage making the challenge increasingly more difficult for the Hawks. But a collected Hunslet side remained cool and when Widnes began playing predictably the Hawks instantly pressured the opposing line. Fresh from the bench Luke Helliwell saw his opportunity almost straight away and sent the ball flying across field, where it was deftly knocked in by winger Corey Challenger, which was the only encouragement Stuart Kain needed to fly over the line for a further well deserved try. Another difficult conversion drifted narrowly left of the posts leaving the score at 10-18.
As in last weeks game Hunslet dominated the second half and were unlucky not to have secured more points. As the pre-season friendlies draw to an close, we can look forward to welcoming Championship 1 side Whitehaven for our opening game in the Northern Rail Cup when we hope to see more of the exciting rugby we have just lately.
See you in 2 weeks time at the South Leeds when we return to our usual KO time of 3pm.