Hunslet Hawks were given a chasing by Super League Salford at the South Leeds Stadium on Saturday afternoon (24 January 2015) as England international Rangi Chase pulled all the strings for the Red Devils in a 46-0 win.
Hunslet were always going to be up against it, splitting their squad over two games for this weekend’s double header, whilst Salford brought the strongest squad available to them. Right from the off it was clear that the Hawks were going to find it difficult to break down the Red Devils and that the afternoon was going to be an an exercise in the art of defence.
It took the visitors seven minutes to break the Hunslet line and it was two of the big money signings in the Salford line up that made the difference. Rangi Chase and Gareth Hock worked a little bit of magic in the midfield to make a half break that was rewarded a couple of tackles, and a suspiciously forward pass, later as Scott Taylor crashed over from close range.
Two minutes later Salford doubled the lead as once again the clever dummy runs of the Super League side confused the Hunslet defence and Mason Caton-Brown strolled over under the posts and with Chase converting both tries the Red Devils led 12-0.
Hunslet continued to defend doggedly but were making little impression in attack and on 21 minutes found themselves further behind with scrum half Theo Fages making a break to feed his half back partner Chase to sprint over.
12 minutes before the break, the Red Devils showed they could strike from anywhere as winger Greg Johnson snaffled a pass from Elliot Cosgrove to race away 80 yards with the interception and go over in the corner. Chase’s conversion from close to the touchline made it 24-0 at the break.
Hunslet’s defensive effort wavered at the start of the second half as they allowed Salford an easy try which extended the lead to 30 points, as Fages dabbed a little kick through and was allowed to fall on his own kick and touchdown by two watching Hawk defenders.
For the remainder of the game both sides struggled to play any flowing rugby, as a combination of the biting cold, heavy pitch and a liberal interpretation of the offside law by referee Sweet led to some attritional play.
However three tries in the closing moments added some sparkle to Salford’s second half display. Tired Hunslet tackling allowed Chase to dart over from the base of a scrum before Caton-Brown and Niall Evalds added long range efforts. Chase completed a successful afternoon with seven goals from eight attempts to complete a 46-0 drubbing.
Hunslet’s afternoon was further tarnished by a concussion suffered by Matthew Tebb at the end of the first half, who suffered a bang on the head when making a tackle and was stretchered from the field.
Two games against Super League opposition have been severe tests for the Hunslet side, but their fans will be given a better taste of what to expect in the forthcoming Championship season when they take on Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday. After a couple of weeks of being on the back foot against superior opposition, the Hawks will be looking to to spread their attacking wings against an opponent at their level.
Hunslet Hawks – Elliot, Agoro, Briscoe, Maun, Duckworth, Grimshaw, Gale, Mulhern, Ward, Reed, Cosgrove, Backhouse, Hardbottle. Subs- Tebb, Conway, Martin, Castle, Kain, Akaidere, Broughton, Brennan
Salford Red Devils – Evalds, Ford, Walton, Caton-Brown, Johnson, Chase, Fages, Taylor, Lee, Tasi, Hansen, Hauraki, Hock. Subs- Griffin, Walne, Morley, Forster, Menzies, Puletua, Hood, Gee