Hunslet RLFC 22-14 North Wales Crusaders

Hunslet gained revenge for last season’s play-off defeat to North Wales Crusaders with two late tries and jumped above their opponents into fourth place in the Betfred League One table.

In a tight game it was the Parksiders who finished the stronger and go into a tough visit next week to Keighley Cougars with 4 wins from 7 matches.

The home side couldn’t have got off to a worse start when on only the first minute Crusaders shipped the ball out to the right and caught Hunslet’s defence cold. Suddenly full-back Jimmy Watson had three attackers to contend with and Kieran Taylor finished the move to score. Owain Abel converting. 0-6

Josh Jordan-Roberts got Hunslet on the attack with a nice slipped pass, and although after a fresh set of tackles Mackenzie Scurr went close, the opening 20 minutes belonged to North Wales.

On 17 minutes the visitors doubled their lead when Owain Abel broke through on the left and fed Thomas Whitehead inside to score. 0-12

Hunslet were riding their luck a bit, but on 24 minutes manged to get back on the front foot. Jude Ferreira made a half break and fed Jack Render who chipped cleverly inside. Matty Beharrell backed up and snatched the ball to score converting his own try. 6-12

The left side for Hunslet began to look dangerous as Watson and Render combined in attack and repeat sets put Crusaders under the cosh.

Although the Welshmen had chances, it was Hunslet who didn’t want the hooter to sound as Jordan Syme was held up only a yard short when the referee ended the half. 6-12.

The second half started badly again for Hunslet as they knocked-on in their own half, this gave momentum to West Wales and the twin ‘thorns in the side’ of Whitehead and Abel were able to put pressure on the home line.

Good defence and Jimmy Watson sweeping up saw off the threat, but on 49 minutes when Hunslet were pinged for offside Abel stretched the Crusaders lead to 6-14.

The game changed on 58 minutes when on-loan half-back Myles Lawford kicked a 40/20 and gave Hunslet good field position. Billy Gaylor ran at the Crusaders line and fed Harvey Hallas who was too strong and scored under the posts. 12-14

Although Billy Gaylor went close again the game-breaker moment came when Mackenzie Scurr pulled off a try saving tackle when it seemed inevitable North Wales would score. The young winger had to clear his lines and aided by another young on-loan player Joe Law the Hunslet defence remained intact.

Crusaders suffered a blow when talented fullback Owain Abel had to come off but looked likely to score when experienced winger Patrick Ah Van headed for the corner only to be thwarted again by a Scurr tackle.

On 76 minutes the home side hit the lead when Jack Render broke down the left hand side. Although the winger was held up quick hands to the right gave Scurr a chance to score. The winger still had a bit to do but held off three defenders to score. 16-14.

Mackenzie Scurr on the charge. Credit: Craig Irvine

Now Crusaders had to throw caution to the wind being behind for the first time. Player Coach Carl Forster attacked but a loose pass was scooped up by Josh Jordan-Roberts. The big second rower headed for the line but with defenders catching up elected to pass to Jude Ferreira who sent Jack Render over for an 80th minute try. Beharrell converting to give Hunslet a 22-14 win.

Jack Render celebrates his score. Credit: Craig Irvine

It was a nervy one, but Hunslet got the victory in the end. For the third time this season they have given their opponents a start and have come back to win. If Hunslet can start as well as they finish they will be hard to beat.

Mackenzie Scurr won the ‘Tricks of the Trade’ sponsors Player of the Match and Phoenix Bar Supporters Player of the Match, but there were also strong performances from Jack Render, Joe Law and Jude Ferreira.

Dean Muir will prepare his side for a tricky trip to Cougar Park next Sunday (5 May) hoping he can keep this team together with no injuries, as Hunslet look to put one over on their local rivals.


Hunslet RLFC:  Jimmy Watson, Mackenzie Scurr, Joe Law, Jude Ferreira, Jack Render, Myles Lawford, Matty Beharrell, Harvey Hallas, Ross Whitmore, Mike Knowles, Aaron Levy, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Jordan Syme.  Interchanges: Cam Berry, Billy Gaylor, Ethan O’Hanlon, Isaac Shaw. 18th Player: Alfie Goddard.

North Wales Crusaders:  Owain Abel, Jack Holmes, Kieran Taylor, Jake Thewlis, Patrick Ah Van, Reece Bushell, Toby Hughes, Carl Forster, Jake Burns, Chris Barrett, Ryan Ellis, Cole Oakley, Thomas Whitehead.  Interchanges: Louis Roberts-Else, Shaun Costello, Joseph Baldwin, Adam Carr. 18th Player: Matthew Unsworth.


Main Photo: Harvey Hallas scores.  Credit: Craig Irvine