Head coach Alan Kilshaw has revealed that he didn’t have to say too much at the break, in Sunday’s Betfred League 1 fixture at North Wales Crusaders.
The Parksiders, after having taken an early lead through Jack Render, found themselves trailing 16-6 at half-time. But other than insisting that the players run harder, tackle harder and complete their sets better, `Killer’ was able to confidently keep his counsel ahead of a dominant second period in which Hunslet completed a 30-20 victory, with Sam Hallas bagging a brace and Josh Jordan-Roberts and Jimmy Watson also dotting down.
Matty Beharrell wrapped matters up with five goals from as many attempts before the Crusaders, who had won their previous four games, snared a last-second interception try by Josh Lynch; Lynch had opened the home account before Kieran Taylor and Pat Rainford nipped over, with Brad Billsborough appending a couple of goals.
Kilshaw said: “Our game plan was to throw the ball around, but that was affected when North Wales were allowed to slow the game down.
“We adapted well to that and were rewarded with Render’s try, but the Crusaders were then granted a touchdown, involving a clear knock on, that should have been ruled out – as verified by video footage – and that affected all of us, me included.
“They were allowed another doubtful try and, as we struggled with those scores, we went ten points behind. But I really didn’t have to say a lot at the interval, we have a very strong leadership group in place and the players largely sorted it for themselves.”
He continued: “We went on to `win’ the second half 24-6 and although it was disappointing to concede the late try I have to be pleased with how we performed, with Beharrell creating a number of opportunities and Myles Lawford also setting up one of Sam Hallas’ tries.
“I was also impressed with how Spencer Darley performed on his debut – with Nathan Newbound going very well for Castleford Reserves on his return from injury, we have plenty of options available as the end of the season approaches.”
Benefit man Jimmy Watson, in his second match back after recovering from a finger injury, pulled off a couple of try-saving tackles, while Joe Burton and Alfie Goddard also denied North Wales at important stages.
“We scrambled well,” said Kilshaw, “and there was a sense in the dressing room afterwards that this was a real breakthrough win against difficult opponents who beat us comfortably in the corresponding match last year. And we suffered no injuries, which is always pleasing.”