ALFIE GODDARD grabbed a hat-trick as Hunslet, who have risen to second in Rugby League’s Betfred League 1 table, recovered from 12-0 down at Midlands Hurricanes on Sunday to prevail 54-22.
The Parksiders were hit by tries in the first five minutes for Finley Beardsworth and Brad Clavering and, after levelling with touchdowns to Jordan Syme and Adam Ryder, went 18-12 behind when Aaron Willis crossed and Jacob Hookem booted his third goal.
Hunslet, however, levelled by the break with Goddard’s first try – and there was only one team in it in the second period.
Oli Burton, Goddard (twice), Lewis Wray, Ryder and Aaron York all powered over, with Matty Beharrell completing an eight-from-eight contribution with the boot and Myles Lawford landing a conversion.
The Hurricanes had to settle for a consolation try by former Hunslet man Macauley Hallett, while Beharrell and Hookem were sin-binned in the closing stages following a skirmish; Midlands winger Hayden Freeman was red-carded at the death for alleged punching.
Hunslet’s head coach Alan Kilshaw said: “It’s another case where we won the game in the first half and scored the points in the second period. We didn’t handle the start too well, we knew Midlands would come at us and, through kicking out on the full and conceding a goal-line drop-out and a couple of penalties, gave them opportunities to score, while our goal-line defence, which is usually very good, wasn’t too strong at that stage and we leaked a couple of soft tries.
“But once we started to build momentum, particularly around the ruck, Midlands started to struggle and conceded a few penalties. And even though they scored again the levelling try by Goddard, who had a very good game, on the stroke of half-time put a different complexion on the contest and made for a better discussion at the interval.”
He continued: “We went on to blitz the Hurricanes in the first 20 minutes of the second half, making six or seven good breaks and scoring four tries, with the one by Wray being a particularly impressive team effort. I was pleased by how clinical we were and we looked threatening every time we got the ball. Midlands’ try shouldn’t have been allowed – Hallett was clearly in touch – so it was yet another game in which, in reality, we kept the opposition out in the second period, and the Hurricanes are a good attacking side.”
Killer’s sole concern is that the closing stages were scrappy, with Hunslet drawn into some physical exchanges and Beharrell copping a yellow card. “We have to stand back from that,” he said, “but there were certainly far more positives than negatives, not least the performance of winger Jake Maizen, who was ill but put his hand up to play and performed very well.
“In addition we are able to rotate our bench much more efficiently following recent signings, which certainly helps towards the end of games when we like to have such as captain Steve Crossley on the field. We are also very fit under Miles Greenwood and assistant coaches Danny Burton and Ryan Jackson, who have the lads training at a high intensity, so we can replicate that in matches. If scores are close towards the end of games, we’re very confident about finishing on top as we generally complete our sets at the business end of matches.”