Hunslet Hawks came out on top against York City Knights at Bootham Crescent on Sunday afternoon in a must win game in the Super 8s, getting the victory with a 33-12 scoreline after a fantastic first half put the visitors firmly in the driving seat.
Photos by Phoenix Photography
Hunslet dominated the first half, after York City Knights opened the scoring. Hunslet hit back and scored four unanswered tries in the first period, York’s defence not being able to cope with Jake Normington and Mufaru Mvududu on the left side.
The second half was a different ball game, Hunslet seeing out the game in a controlled fashion. Two tries from York wasn’t enough to mount a proper comeback, Hunslet scoring nine points to take away the all-important victory. There was also a strong second half debut up front from Jose Kenga.
Hunslet didn’t make the best of starts, letting York’s kick off go dead for a dropout, but great goal line defence kept the Knights out. York had the early balance of territory and when the home side next came to the Hunslet’s line a well worked play created an overlap for winger Austin Buchanan to go over in the 4th minute, a try that went unconverted.
Both sides’ forwards were on top at the start of the game in what looked set to be a fiery encounter. The next noticeable action came when a superb kick by Danny Ansell bounced back into his own hands for him to race away under the posts, putting the South Leeds side 6-4 in front.
And Hunslet furthered their lead at the end of the first quarter when a barn-storming run and great offload by Jake Normington created space for Mufaru Mvududu to score. It was converted by Danny Ansell to take the score to 12-4. Hunslet continued on top, Danny Thomas and Danny Ansell controlling things and great running putting the visitors on the front foot.
A great move in the 30th minute saw Danny Ansell and Jimmy Watson combining to put the fullback over. It was yet again converted to take proceedings to 18-4.
And not long before half time, George Flanagan burrowed over from close range to make the difference between the sides 20 points. That was the way the half ended, Hunslet sailing into a 24-4 lead.
The second half started off a much closer affair than the first, however when Hunslet were awarded a penalty after a high tackle on Danny Thomas, they took the chance to go further in the lead, Ansell slotting over the conversion to make the score 26-4.
A succession of penalties saw York on the Hunslet line and Kris Brining darted over from dummy half. It wasn’t converted though and Hunslet stayed 3 converted tries ahead at 26-8. Just after the hour mark- a show and go took York’s Danny Nicklas over. The kick was again not accurate enough so Hunslet lead 26-12.
Late in the game, after some time on the opposing line, former York fan favourite Jack Lee scooted over to score for Hunslet. That killed off any remaining chance of York coming away with the spoils with Hunslet looking home and dry at 32-12.
Then, late drama saw York’s Mike Emmet sent off and Tommy Saxton sinbinned in quick succession. The last play of the match came seconds before full time, Danny Ansell scoring a drop goal to make the final score: York City Knights 12-33 Hunslet Hawks.
Speaking after the game, a very satisfied Matt Bramald talked of his pleasure at the disciplined performance of his team in the second half. He said that all 17 players played well and that Hunslet managed the game well, Danny Thomas and Danny Ansell controlling things with Jake Normington and Mufaro Mvududu a constant threat.
Hunslet Hawks: Jimmy Watson, Stuart Sanderson, Kyran Johnson, Mufaro Mvududu, Richie Barnett, Danny Thomas, Danny Ansell, Michel Haley, Jack Lee, Matt Carbutt, Callum Casey, Jake Normington, Danny Williams. Subs: George Flanagan, Craig Robinson, Jack Coventry, Jose Kenga.
York City Knights: James Haynes. Austin Buchanan, Brandon Westerman, Tyler Craig, Tommy Saxton, Johnny Pressley, Danny Nicklas, Russ Spier, Pat Smith, Jack Aldous, Josh Tonks, Ed Smith, Mike Emmett. Subs: Kris Brining, Andy Smith, Brett Waller, Mickey Learmonth.
Referee: J McMullen
This post was written by Nathan Kirk using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.