Hunslet RLFC 12-62 Featherstone Rovers
Hunslet’s first game in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup ended in defeat against a strong Featherstone Rovers outfit today (28 January 2024) at the South Leeds Stadium.
The Colliers have been consistently at the top of the Championship over the last few seasons and are one of the best sides outside of Super League, whilst the Parksiders were only on their second hit out of the year.
The visitors took the lead on only the 6th minute after Gareth Gale proved too strong for defenders, and doubled it on the 11th minute when former Leigh Leopards man Ben Reynolds dummied his way over after Jude Ferreira had been unlucky going for an interception for the home side. Reynolds’ conversions making it 0-12.
Hunslet did settle into the game though and winger Jack Render scored a classic try in the corner after good work by Matty Beharrell and Iwan Orr. 6-12
The Parksiders came close again, but the ball was spilled after a busting Toby Everett drive.
Featherstone are a top side and after Hunslet spilled a kick Connor Jones punished them on the 26th minute, then 3 minutes later a Wacokecoke break on the right was shipped quickly to the left for Minikin to go over. 6-24
Early season legs saw Hunslet fall off tackles and Connor Jones pushed on to score a fine solo try. Jack Render was sin-binned for questioning the decision. 6-30
Then on the hooter quick passing to the left sent Greg Minikin over for his second of the day. 6-34 at the break.
The second half started off with both teams having chances, but soon settled into a stalemate. Matty Beharrell’s clever kick and chase opened up Featherstone for Jude Ferreira, but the move broke down and when Michael Knowles was sin-binned. The man advantage proved a hard ask yet again for Hunslet.
Worse still on 60 minutes Josh Jordan-Roberts had to leave the field with a shoulder injury and although the game became scrappy Featherstone were next to score on 64 minutes when Jack Arnold reached over after Hunslet knocked on. Lacans adding the extras. 6-40
Hunslet hit back on 67 minutes when Beharrell and Orr combined to send Alfie Goddard over, Beharrell converting for 12-40.
But it was to be Hunslet’s last stand as the Championship side started to hit the higher gears.
Caleb Aekins squeezed in the left corner before Gareth Gale registered his second try knocking off tired Hunslet defenders. Dean Roberts went over under the posts and Gale completed a hat trick after some good passing. Thomas Lacans adding these extras. 12-62
An injury to a supporter had held the game up and although Beharrell put a good kick in for Jack Render, Hunslet never got going again.
In the end the score was a blow out and Coach Dean Muir thought sloppy play had gifted Featherstone points. But he did concede the visitors were a top side and was pleased that for long periods Hunslet matched them.
“Hunslet want to do well in the 1895 cup and Harry Jepson Trophy but our main focus this year is the League when that starts in March” said Muir.
The Sponsors (Barnsley Supporters Club) Man of the Match went to Iwan Orr, whilst the Phoenix Bar Supporters Man of the Match went to Matty Beharrell. There were also stand out performances from Ethan O’Hanlon and Jude Ferreira.
Hunslet play Leeds Rhinos this Friday (2 February – 7.30pm) in the Harry Jepson OBE Memorial Trophy.
Hunslet RLFC: Iwan Orr, Jimmy Watson, Alfie Goddard, Jude Ferreira, Jack Render, Harry Williams, Matty Beharrell, Harvey Hallas, Billy Gaylor, Toby Everett, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Aaron Levy, Jordan Syme. Interchanges: Cam Berry, Michael Knowles, Lewis Wray, Ethan O’Hanlon, Ross Whitmore.
Featherstone Rovers: Caleb Aekins, Manoa Wacokecoke, Connor Wynne, Greg Minikin, Gareth Gale, Ben Reynolds, Thomas Lacans, Gad-win Springer, Connor Jones, Moris Kamano, Brad Day, Josh Hardcastle, Dan Addy. Interchanges: Harry Bowes, Nathan Massey, Dean Roberts, Jack Arnold, Oliver Farrar.
Main photo: Craig Irvine
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