|The Hawks took on some familiar faces today at the South Leeds as the York City Knights came to town. The likes of Tommy Haughey, Adam Sullivan and James Houston were definitely going to cause us some problems, although Waine Pryce was only on the sidelines, but after last weeks heavy defeat Hunslet will have been out to prove to themselves and to the fans that they could do it. Hopefully a win would be on the cards.
There were plenty of areas that Barry would have been looking at over the past week. The defence being one and the kicking game possibly another. With Ratcliffe on the sideline it was left to Helliwell, who did a brilliant job from the word go. Big strong kicks down field, followed up by a convincing chase, put plenty of pressure on to the Knights. The Hawks now focused on their attack, Andy Yates and Anthony Henderson sent crashing through the defenders left them struggling to regain any sort of composure. The platform had been laid for the backs to do their thing; centre Clayton ran rings around them and managed to slip a ball to Dennis Tuffour who took full advantage of the gap his side had created for him, grounding it on 14 minutes. For a short period of time the York side did look dangerous; they were close to the Hunslet line and were asking questions until eventually Brett Turner found a space. As he sprinted towards the line, everyone assumed he had scored but Hawks centre Davies came racing in from the opposite direction and tapped his ankle preventing the try with a brilliant effort from him. On 40 minutes the ball was in Hawks hands and playing to the last minute was another improvement on recent weeks. Helliwell wasn’t satisfied with the 4 points on the board; he put a ball high into the corner and Tuffour jumped up to contest for it. He was rewarded with four more points and the Hawks looked content with their first half performance which would hopefully be matched throughout the second.
Barry will have had nothing but positive comments for the boys at the break. The Hawks came out with just as much enthusiasm, constantly looking for opportunities to score and were unlucky on many occasions. New addition to the side, speedy scrum half Ryan Smith, was definitely getting under the skin of the Knights; his pace and passing ability leaving them chasing Hunslet all over the park. The frustration showed as ex-Super League fullback Jordan Tansey was sent to the bin. The home side were determined to make the most of the missing man, with ball being passed from one side to the other and eventually found the hands of confident Brickwood who slid over in the corner for his first of the season so far. elliwell’s conversion sailed just wide; 14-0 was the score on 52 minutes. Keeping hold of this lead should have been the only thing on the minds of the Hawks but a sloppy set granted the visitors possession in the perfect position. Turner hastily picked it up from the scrum and shipped it out down the short side to Ben Hellewell who squeezed into the corner. Chris Thorman had his kicking boots on and managed to pull the 2 points from a difficult conversion, bumping the score to 14-6.
The Hawks fought back after this though and stole the show. They were persistent in the way they attacked the defensive line and were outstanding in how they defended it and it would have been impossible to pick out a player who had played badly. Scott Watson had been stand out in his individual efforts in defence and new signing Hodgson had had an impressive first game. As the hooter blew Luke Helliwell used his initiative once again and stabbed through a grubber only to get a hand to it himself. A truly deserved victory and brilliant end to a much improved display, with Helliwell’s conversion robbing York of a bonus point.
Finally a win for the Hawks which will boost spirits in camp.
Well done to the Barry and the boys
See you next Sunday for the next round of the Challenge cup as the Hawks get their claws into the Batley Bulldogs down at the South Leeds Stadium (3pm).