Head coach Alan Kilshaw has, after analysing the video of the 36-6 Betfred League 1 victory over Cornwall on Sunday, modified his immediate post-match assessment of the game as being “terrible”.
He said: “There were frustrations on the day; I was really disappointed due to the stop-start nature of the match but our performance wasn’t as bad, after a fuller review, than perhaps the game made you believe. Cornwall slowed the game down a lot at the play-the-ball, which is a standard tactic for any team in their position against a faster and stronger side – like any coach, I’ve used it myself with previous clubs – and they got away with it. What we should do is not get drawn in, and focus instead on our own performance and processes.
“We forced too many passes, and made too many handling errors in their 20, which could be partly because our loan players Oli Burton and Miles Lawford, who were in pivot positions at hooker and stand-off, were playing their first games.”
Hunslet, who had benefit man Jimmy Watson back at fullback after being sidelined for a couple of months through a serious finger injury at work, went in front in the third minute with a try for centre Adam Ryder after Matty Beharrell and Lawford had linked well, Beharrell landing the first of his six goals from as many attempts.
As so often in Rugby League, scoring early doesn’t always seem to benefit the scoring side and Cornwall quickly hit back through David Weetman, creator Cameron Brown adding the extras.
The Parksiders, though, went twelve points clear through touchdowns for Joe Burton (off Watson) and, with a solo score from 60 metres, Lawford, before the Choughs had Liam Whitton sin-binned shortly before half-time for a professional foul.
Cornwall allowed the second-half restart kick to go dead and, from the ensuing drop-out, Josh Jordan-Roberts crashed over.
Lawford pounced on his own grubber as the game entered the final quarter, and Watson celebrated his return with a hugely popular try before the visitors had a late `score’ by Luke Collins ruled out, the hooker being penalised for an infringement.
`Killer’ said: “We have to focus, and compete on, aspects of the game that we can control. But although it wasn’t a vintage display by any means there are certainly several positives we can take from it, not least in terms of some individual performances. Adam Ryder has been going under the radar a bit in the centre, but he always carries very strongly and nothing gets past him in defence, while second-row Aaron York has responded so well to a difficult period, when he’s had to recover from a serious motor accident, followed by a bout of tonsilitis. And one man who was notable by his absence was Michael Knowles, who is in his mid-thirties and who we rested for the fixture as we need to manage him ahead of the important end-of-season games.”
He concluded: “We’re a team that rises to the tougher challenges and I’d rather we be like that than one that blows out against teams in the lower reaches of the league but then buckles against those near the top.”