Sheffield Eagles v Hunslet RLFC

22/08/2013 - 7:30 pm


It was an exciting fixture for the final ever game at the Don Valley Stadium. The Hawks faced the Eagles in a showdown as the Sheffield side chased the top of the league spot and Barry’s team were looking for points to avoid relegation. The Eagles got off to a slow start but managed to go all the way and take the 3 points. A bonus point for the Hawks was good enough but not nearly enough credit for a battered Hunslet outfit that were outstanding under immense pressure.

With only 5 minutes on the clock a perfectly timed chip into the corner from Thomas Coyle bounced into the hands of Mapals who found himself over the whitewash for the first try of the game. A touch line conversion for March ensured the visitors were off to a comfortable start. Much more confident with ball in hand this week they were throwing it about trying to find a way through Eagles defenders. The line speed of second rower Oakes was much appreciated by the Hawks side, forcing the error in a position ready to form the next try. It was a risk not taking the kick from the penalty but it paid off when Yates charged through off a March pass under the posts, with the skipper adding the conversion. The Hawks went through a spell of back to back defending, allowing the home side to build pressure. This finally told as Michael Knowles slid over. A great kick off from Coyle turned bad quickly as the Sheffield fullback nearly sprinted the entire length with only opposite fullback Kain to stop him in his tracks. Throwing him into touch to relieve his side, Menzies looked certain to score as he burst through the line minutes later but the Eagles upped their game before the break. 2 late tries left the Hawks on the back foot for half time, going from dominating at 12-0 to 16-12 after 40 minutes all was still left to play for. Ruling out avoidable mistakes would bring Barry’s side back into it.

An almost mirror effort to the opening score as Mapals took the ball cleanly despite oncoming defenders and crossed for try number 2 on the back of another great Thomas Coyle kick. The hard work from the middles Haughey and Houston had pushed their side down field. Despite the conversion just flying wide the try had pulled the scores level. Both sides were matching each other on the field but it was the hosts turn to get over. As the Hawks failed to react to the speed of play they were outpaced by Vinny Finnigan who helped his side get in front once again. Richard Moore found himself back in the Hawks squad this evening and gave 100% for the boys; the Leeds Rhinos forward was influential in this next try and played a part in being the driving force of the team playing a full 80 minutes. Skipper March led by example picking up the ball from the penalty and forcing his way over the line making it look easy.

A gruelling 10 minutes for the Hawks followed as the home side looked to have struck back with late tries from Laulu-Togagae and Finnigan. The officials failing to recognise the forward passes involved in the run up to both but instead the Eagles went 22-36 up and it seemed the chances of even a bonus point were ruined. But the Hawks had threatened to have the final say all evening and winger Watson looked dangerous as he was almost away on the counter attack. It was winger Mapals who came up with the last bit of magic, a charge down that lead to him scoring his hatrick in the corner.

Everyone was relieved as the Hawks clung onto the bonus point and a score of 26-36. The Hunslet outfit knew that a win would have put them in a safe position and at times it looked possible. But an injury hit Hawks side did themselves proud to fight through the tough fixture. The travelling support very happy with their teams performance and looking forward to another big game for the last one of the season as the boys have to face last year’s league leaders Featherstone Rovers at South Leeds.

Hunslet RLFC Line up
6. Thomas Coyle
Sponsored by: Yorkshire Signs
5. Lee Mapals
Sponsored by: Leeds Bacon Company Ltd
3. Lee Brickwood
Sponsored by: Eric Simon
4. Liam Welham
Sponsored by: Adrian Jinks
1. Stuart Kain
Sponsored by: Beth Hampshire
2. Waine Pryce
Sponsored by: Yorkshire Signs
7. James Coyle
Sponsored by: Yorkshire Signs
8. Andrew Yates
Sponsored by: Village Urban Resorts South Leeds
9. David March
Sponsored by: A & R Construction
10. James Houston
Sponsored by: Stephen Bower Bespoke Joinery
11. John Oakes
Sponsored by: Leeds Bacon Company Ltd
12. Tommy Haughey
Sponsored by: Dawn Caley
13. Richard Moore
Sponsored by: Available Call 0113 2712730
14. Luke Haigh
Sponsored by: Elliott & Ewan Green
15. Jimmy Watson
16. Luke Menzies
Sponsored by: Fred & Jane Hopkins
17. Michael Haley
00:02 Lee Mapals Try
00:03 David March Goal
00:18 Andrew Yates Try
00:19 David March Goal
00:44 Lee Mapals Try
00:58 David March Try
01:16 Lee Mapals Try
01:17 David March Goal

Sheffield Eagles

Position T C P DP DG Points

Hunslet RLFC

Position T C P DP DG Points


Date Time Season
22/08/2013 7:30 pm 2013