Gloucester All Golds 10 – 28 Hunslet Hawks
Mo Agoro’s second half hat-trick secures Hunslet’s passage into the Challenge Cup 5th round draw.
The All Golds had the game’s first real chance to score after breaking down the left, slipping the defence and finding an open hole along the left – the referee in the end pulling the move back for a forward pass in the build up.
The Hawks just meters from their own line looked to build and counter the momentary pressure from the home side, with a series of penalties taking the Hawks just 20 meters from scoring. Brad Brenan got the Hawks first real chance on goal, a clever dummy bought by the defenders releasing him to attack the line, the All Golds’ defence held strong though holding Brennan short of the line, the Hawks now on the attack looked to go again but the referee called obstruction turning over the play negating the Hawks attack.
It wasn’t long before the Hawks were back on the attack though, Mufaru Mvududu breaking along the wing before passing to Richie Barnett who powered through the defenders to open the games scoring, Ansell’s kick narrowly missing to keep the score 0-4 with 15 minutes played.
The Hawks were awarded a penalty from kick off meaning they started their set just 40 meters out, the Hawks spurred on by their try were quickly close to the line again, Brad Brennan got the ball and carried himself and three defenders over the line to score the second of the game under the sticks, Ansell this time couldn’t miss splitting the uprights and taking the Hawks lead to 10.
The Hawks looked set to score again when Gloucester knocked the ball on just 18 out but the ball was intercepted in the next play, the Hawks in the shock of the interception allowed an offload in the tackle to Lewis Reece who ran 70 meters with the Hawks defence left in his wake, diving for his ankles. With just meters left, Muffy wrapped his ankles saving a try, the quick counter caused issues for the Hawks who struggled to get back, the scrambling defence allowing the All Golds’ Captain Steve Perry to open the home sides scoring.
The comeback attempt was on for Gloucester, now pressing to try and score a second and level the game, in their haste dropping the ball allowing Hunslet a chance to open the gap once again, Michael Haley making the most of the mistake dragging 5 defenders along with him, the Hawks kick was good but no-one could catch it before it bounced dead.
Both teams now with points on the board settled into the game, battling more now for position, neither really making a discernable impact on the other – until with just minutes left the Hawks were awarded a penalty giving them a fresh set of 6 just 30 meters out, the Hawks were quickly awarded a second penalty as the clock was expiring and opted to take the 2 points- the kick was easy for Ansell who converted the penalty – the Hawks leading 4-12 at the half.
The second half kicked off and the home side shot out of the gate scoring a try within 3 minutes of kick off, Joe McClean racing into the corner, to bring the home side back into the game.
The joy was short lived for the home side as they knocked on from kick off, the Hawks starting just 30 meters out, another penalty bringing them even closer to the try line. Danny Ansell drawing in the defenders to create a gap for Elliot Cosgrove who raced home to score. Ansell’s kick from the side-line was just wide of the posts Hunslet now 6 clear of the All Golds.
The Hawks now looked well in control, the All Golds struggling to break the halfway line. Just 10 minute’s later the Hawks now superior attacking quality shone as Lee Brickwood sold a fantastic dummy, suckered the defence and allowed Mo Agoro the inch of space he needed to score, the conversion again on the wing a difficult one that narrowly past the posts just wide, the Hawks not bothered though as they lead by 10 with half an hour play, the home team not offering anything in response.
The Hawks didn’t let up their attack, every set from the home side countered and every attack looking more and more dangerous, Agoro scored his second of the game on 60 minutes, following a fantastic team attack culminating in Brad Brennan offloading to Cosgrove again – defenders being sucked towards the threat giving Agoro the space he needed, this time though dragging a defender with him as he crossed the line to score.
The Hawks now comfortable and in control of the game scored again in the 68th minute with Mo Agoro completing his hat-trick. A huge pass from Simon Brown sailing over the heads of 3 Gloucester defenders finding its way to Agoro on the wing who casually jogged over the line, the traveling fans realising the game was all but theirs now in great voice with the score now at 10-28.
The All Golds attempted a short kick from kick off, but the Hawks claimed the ball and looked to turn the screw even more on the home side, but a knock on cost them just 15 meters out. With time running out Gloucester stepped up their infrequent attacks and looked like they could score before time ran out.
The All Golds came close with just minutes left but Mo Agoro whose attacking presence had been a big feature of the game stepped up and made a fantastic defensive play, saving a try tackling the Golds’ winger out of bounds just inches from the line.
The Referee gave Gloucester a fresh set of six for an apparent offside in the play but the Hawks didn’t let up, a great goal line defence preventing the home team from coming anywhere close to scoring.
The Hawks got the ball back and set off on the attack again the frustration of All Golds’ Emmerson Whittel showing as he began chirping at the Hunslet attackers particularly drawing the attention of Simon Brown. The Hawks wound the clock down on attack completing their set and launching a high kick as the hooter sounded.
The win sees the Hawks into Tuesday night’s Challenge Cup fifth round draw taking place in Hull, the dream of a trip to Wembley well and truly still alive in Hunslet.
Gloucester: Davies, Mulkeen, Reece, Cowburn, Pywell, Topham, Bradley, Purslow, Parry, Thomas, Whittel, Crowther, Vitalini. Subs: Canterbury, McClean, Duffy, Rainer
Hunslet: Elliot, Agoro, Barnett, Cosgrove, Mvududu, Brown, Ansell, Brennan, Haley, Flanagan, Broughton, Backhouse, Mackay. Subs: Castle, Brickwood, Maun, Lyons