HUNSLET sealed a place in the Betfred League 1 play-offs with Sunday’s 82-6 victory at the South Leeds Stadium over West Wales Raiders – and although the embattled Welsh outfit, hit by injures and withdrawals, had only 14 fit players, the Parksiders’ head coach Alan Kilshaw is delighted by the way his side stuck to the gameplan against committed opponents, posting 15 tries in an impressive exhibition of attacking Rugby League.
He said: “The players stayed focused, apart from perhaps a short period in the first half, and avoided the temptation to overplay.
“The average age of the side against the Raiders was 26, with a healthy mix of youth and experience, and the younger players are producing impressive performances that are giving me lots to think about as we head to the play-offs.
“Older heads such as Simon Brown and Dom Brambani at halfback give us plenty of know-how, and Brown makes a massive contribution which can go unnoticed by the casual observer. He’s something of a Cooper Cronk figure in that he organises players during matches, putting them into the best positions, holding them to account and generally steering the side about the park to best effect. He’s just like a coach on the pitch and he also has a hugely positive input off the field, during training sessions and at team meetings.
“Brambani also had a big impact against West Wales, scoring the opening try and being directly involved in a number of others, especially with his kicking. I was also pleased with how Jy-Mel Coleman went about his business in his new role at loose forward, while Vila Halafihi was his usual effective self at hooker.”`
Killer’ continued: “The younger players are showing up well, too. It’s gratifying that local lads such as winger Kiedan Hartley, second row Lewis Wray and hooker Harvey Whiteley – who picked up our man of the match award against West Wales- are in very good form, in fact Harvey’s become something of a talisman since he joined us recently; he’s yet to experience defeat in our colours and is a bit of a good luck charm!
“We’re playing expansive Rugby League and scored some entertaining tries against West Wales. We’re going to head into the business end of the campaign confident that we have the ability and quality to progress in the play-offs.”