Hunslet RLFC 50-12 Leeds Rhinos
Hunslet’s Adam Ryder scored four tries as the South Leeds outfit completed their pre-season fixtures with a victory over Leeds Rhinos in the Harry Jepson OBE Memorial Trophy at the South Leeds Stadium yesterday (12 February 2023).
The Parksiders retained the Trophy and put in a good performance against a young but talented Rhinos side.
After last week’s victory over a Salford reserve side it was important to keep the momentum rolling before next week’s League 1 opener at Doncaster.
A strong Hunslet side were on top from the off as Adam Ryder went close in the opening minutes. Steve Crossley was held up and Jimmy Watson came inches from sending Keiron Lawton over in the corner when his pass was knocked down by Leeds winger Finlay Ballback.
The deadlock was broken on the 8th minute though as good quick passing sent Adam Ryder over in the corner. 4-0
Leeds grew into the game steadily and had a period of pressure on the home line. Led by Kai Morgan at stand-off it took try saving tackles by both Harvey Hallas and Josh Jordan-Roberts to keep Hunslet’s lead intact.
Ryder was always a threat in the centre for Hunslet and after a neat mov,e full-back Jimmy Watson came in on the second phase and slipped the ball to the ex-Dewsbury man who was far too powerful to halt so close to the line. Jake Sweeting converted and the home side led on 20 minutes 10-0.
Leeds scrum half William Shaw was coming into the game, and on 28 minutes after a spell of possession Joseph Gibbons cut through to score under the posts for the Loiners. 10-6
Hooker Daniel Barcoe had entered the fray and added some fresh zip to Hunslet’s play. Scrum Half Nathan Conroy had made good yards on 33 minutes before Barcoe dummied his way over. 14-6
Moments later Keiron Lawton looked to have plucked the ball from a Sweeting kick to give Hunslet a good half time lead, but the try was chalked off for offside, instead it was Leeds who had the last points of the half when Morgan converted a penalty after a feisty brawl ended with a player from each side heading to the sin-bin.
So Hunslet had the lead at the interval by a 14-8 margin with all to play for.
It was the Parksiders who hit the ground running early in the second half and after brilliant flowing rugby from Joe Burton and Lewis Wray, Keiron Lawton went over only to again have his try disallowed (this time for a forward pass).
But on 43 minutes Adam Ryder completed his hat-trick after Aaron York fed him with a superb offload. With Sweeting’s conversion 20-8
One of the stand out players for Hunslet was Joe Burton, playing at centre in the first half and going to fullback in the second. On 46 minutes Daniel Barcoe had made some good yards, before Burton claimed a try, being far too strong near the line. 26-8
The first 5 minutes of the second half had knocked the wind out of Leeds but on 52 minutes the impressive Kai Morgan scored a fine individual try, weaving in and out of defenders to score narrowing the lead to 26-12.
On the hour Hunslet were clicking into gear again and particularly down the right looked dangerous. Sean Croston and Adam Ryder combined well before the ball was spilled near the line. Conroy and Burton were making inroads before a Conroy pass fortunately hit a Leeds player and bounced to Adam Ryder who finished well for his fourth try of the afternoon. 32-12
Jake Sweeting hadn’t had much luck with his conversions in the first half, but set that right in the second period and on 64 minutes made things easier for himself finishing off another Joe Burton inspired break under the posts. 38-12
Leeds were now tiring and Hunslet’s big forwards had the last say. First Steve Crossley bounced his way over after a Nathan Conroy break and then Nathan Newbound went over from close in to bring up the half century.
So with a narrow defeat to Batley and big victories over second string Salford and Leeds sides, Hunslet Coach Alan Kilshaw will have a tough task choosing his 17 for next week’s trip to Doncaster.
Certainly Adam Ryder, Joe Burton and Nathan Conroy put big markers down and with a big mobile pack Hunslet will be hard to get on top of this season. All points towards an exciting season.
Hunslet visit Doncaster next Sunday (19 February 2023).
Hunslet RLFC: Jimmy Watson, Jack Render, Adam Ryder, Jo Burton, Kieron Lawton, Jake Sweeting, Nathan Conroy, Harvey Hallas, Harvey Whiteley, Steve Crossley, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Aaron York, Mike Knowles. Subs: Danny Barcoe, Nathan Newbound, Jordan Syme, Lewis Wray, Jordan Bull, Sean Croston, Brad Wheeler.
Leeds Rhinos: Shane Tuohey, Finley Balback, Dylan Proud, Jack Johnson, Riley Lumb, Kai Morgan, William Shaw, Freddie Nicholson-Watton, Bailey Aldridge, Thomas Nicholson-Watton, Joseph Gibbons, Ben Littlewood, Oliver Field. Subs: Zachary McSwiney, Tobias Gibson, Ashton Robinson, Leo Aliyu, Harrison Gilmore, Blake Morgan, Lewis Peacock, Neil Tchamambe Djeukar.
Pictures courtesy of Paul Whitehurst