The Hunslet Hawks made a disappointing start to their campaign in the Kingstone Press Championship 1, losing 28-18 to Rochdale Hornets at Spotland this afternoon (6 March 2016).
The Hornets dominated in the second half after a scrappy first 40 minutes which saw plenty of penalties on both sides. Hunslet took an early lead on four minutes through Richie Barnett who scored from the wing.
Rochdale equalised ten minutes later when Joe Philbin scored his first try. After half an hour Hunslet went ahead again as the Hornets fell for the dummy and George Flanagan went over with Simon Brown converting to take the Hawks to a 4-10 lead.
Philbin scored his second try when he was first to react to a dropped ball and walked over the line untouched. Paul Crook kicked the extras and Rochdale were level again.
Just before half time Hunslet executed a cross field kick. Mo Agoro scored and although the kick was missed, the Hawks took a 10-14 lead into the break.
Jordan Case was sin binned early in the second half, but that didn’t stop Rochdale scoring through their captain Wayne English. Crooks converted to give the Hornets a 16-14 lead.
Samir Tahraoui then scored a terrific breakaway try running 50m to score under the posts. Crooks converted again, taking the score to 22-14.
The Hornets extended their lead to 14 points four minutes later when Stu Biscombe scored and Crooks converted.
Hunslet hit straight back as Richie Barnett got a second try, but they were unable to make any further inroads and Rochdale were winners by ten points at the hooter.
Final score: Rochdale Hornets 28-18 Hunslet Hawks.
Hunslet Hawks: Watson, Agoro, Duckworth, Mvududu, Barnett, Brown, Ansell, Haley, Lee, Reed, Normington, Flanagan, Carbutt. Subs: Crane, Williams, Bell, Buttery, Thomas, Johnson.
Rochdale Hornets: English, Riley, Johnson, Taira, Lee, Crook, Yates, Tahraoui, Moores, Thompson, Philbin, Case, Tilley. Subs: McClurg, Hadden, Biscombe, Evans, Dandy, Walpole.