Hawks edge out Skolars

Hunslet Hawks 30-26 London Skolars at South Leeds Stadium.

Hunslet Hawks came out winners in the first round of the Kingstone Press Super 8s against London Skolars at the South Leeds Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Hunslet sped into a 10-0 lead through two Stuart Sanderson tries early on only for London to score two of their own, making it level. The relatively low intensity first half ended with two well taken tries from Hunslet in the last ten minutes – making the score 22-10 in favour of the Hawks at half time.

All photos by Steve Gaunt / Touchlinepics.com

The second half was quite similar to the first, errors blighting moments of great play. Hunslet scored just one try and a penalty kick in the second half, but the points were crucial, the South Leeds side winning by just 4 points in the end, the match ending 30-26 despite a late attempt at a comeback by the Skolars.

The first chance of the game went to the visitors and although they didn’t convert they set out their clear intent for the game. However, when Hunslet were rightly awarded three penalties to put them into a good position, great play by Danny Ansell ended with a looping offload to debutant Stuart Sanderson to put Hunslet in front. It was unconverted making the score 4-0 on the 9th minute.

London’s slack errors meant the penalty count swayed heavily in favour of the Hawks and it was not long before a good position meant Danny Ansell could produce an exquisite cross field kick for Sanderson to collect and score out wide. It was scored in 13th minute and was excellently converted by Simon Brown to put Hunslet 10 points in the lead.

Skolars hit back with a converted try by Jy-Mel Coleman at the end of the first quarter to make it 10-6. London had another chance not long after but it was safely diffused by Hunslet. However, the next time London Skolars came knocking, Lameck Juma scored to make it level at 10 apiece.

In the last ten minutes of the first half Hunslet scored two good tries to take them into the break with a 12 point lead. The first came when a penalty took Hunslet near the line – Mufaro Muvududu managing to get over the whitewash, 4 points being made into 6 by Simon Brown. A great offload soon after saw George Flanagan racing towards the try line only to be eventually halted by Lameck Juma. But the Skolars centre was only delaying the inevitable, fast hands giving Jake Normington the ball to make his way through staggered defence and score to the left of the posts. It was yet again converted by great goal kicker Simon Brown to take proceedings to 22-10 to the Hawks.

And that was how it ended, the first period resulting in a score line 12 points in favour of Hunslet.

The second half started with neither side dominating, both teams failing to convert chances. The deadlock was broken about 10 minutes in when prop forward Dave Williams capitalising when Jimmy Watson fumbled a high kick. That narrowed the margin to six points. However, just a few minutes later Watson made up for his earlier error slicing through the Londoners defense to score meaning that Hunslet’s lead was restored to its former state, the score standing at 28-16.

Not long later, a penalty to the Hawks to the left of the uprights on the London Skolars line gave Hunslet the chance to go 14 points in front. The chance was trustily converted by Simon Brown to make it 30-16 to Hunslet, and with little more than 15 minutes left it looked like the Hawks had it in the bag.

A late scare was yet to follow however, London scoring two late tries to make the final score a bit too close for comfort, Hunslet emerging 30-26 winners in their opening Super 8s match.

After the game Hunslet Hawks Head Coach Matt Bramald expressed his concern that his team had built up a good lead only to yet again let the opposition back into the game. He was delighted at how smoothly Stewart Sanderson settled into the team describing his second try as “sensational”.

Reporters Man of the Match: Stuart Sanderson, a great debut scoring two excellent tries.


Hunslet Hawks:  Jimmy Watson, Stuart Sanderson, Kyran Johnson, Mufaro Mvududu, Richie Barnett, Simon Brown, Danny Ansell, Jack Coventry, Jack Lee, Lewis Reed, Daniel Williams, Jake Normington, Matt Carbutt.  Subs: George Flanagan, Craig Robinson, Jamie Milburn, Michael Haley.

London Skolars:  John Paxton, Sam Nash, Aaron Small, Lameck Juma, Billy Driver, Jy-Mel Coleman, Mike Bishay, Michael Sykes, Sam Druce, Dave Williams, Mike Worrincy, Will Lovell, Ryan Chester.  Subs: Ben Pointer, Erjon Dollapi, Ben Gray, Eddie Mbaraga.


This post was written by Nathan Kirk using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.