Hunslet, who are building towards the new Betfred League One campaign, may have slipped to Batley Bulldogs in Sunday’s pre-season friendly at the South Leeds Stadium. But, as so often in Rugby League, the result didn’t tell the whole story, and the Parksiders might well have emerged victorious if last year’s Championship Grand Finalists had not scored a couple of late tries in a 20-12 win.
Those touchdowns were notched against a home team that had reshuffled in the process of giving all players a run-out as serious competition draws nearer, and Hunslet’s head coach Alan Kilshaw, who was pleased to report no injuries, said: “We’ve watched the video of the match back and what stands out on analysis is that we wasted a few scoring opportunities.
“That was, to a degree, understandable, given that it was our first game since last September, but we certainly need to gel together better, not least because losing possession inevitably puts us under more defensive pressure.
“We defended well for 70 of the 80 minutes, though, until those two late tries led to us coming out on the wrong side of the scoreline. In all the circumstances, however, I can’t be too critical, we’ll get our attacking structure right with more games under our belts, that’s for sure – starting with Friday’s home friendly with Salford Red Devils Reserves – as we work towards making the most of threats such as Michael Knowles, Aaron York and Josh Jordan-Roberts in the pack and Joe Burton and Adam Ryder in the backs.”
Hunslet, who fielded ten local players, including man of the match Nathan Newbound, had led through Jake Sweeting’s conversions of touchdowns by Knowles and Lewis Wray, while Batley posted a Lucas Walshaw brace, a try and two goals for Dale Morton, and a Josh Hodson effort.
Pictures Craig Irvine