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About Hawkwindbag

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  1. Quite simply, a waste of time, money and fossil fuel. Less than 48 hours on and already the 'events' of the first half have disappeared from my memory - apart from a daft attempt at an interception (which of course failed) giving Skolars a walk-in for a 6-0 half-time lead. If the second half was more noteworthy, it was purely because of the gormless play! It's fair to say Ansell has his critics, and yes some of it may be justified and maybe he deserved dropping after last week, but the ineptitude and impotency of the half-back play on Saturday had to be seen to be believed - it was almost a liability! Since Thornton came in we've seen mass changes on a weekly basis; the list of players suddenly appearing/disappearing/re-appearing reads something like; Hayward, Brierley, Norfolk, Leeming, Nathaniel, Cook, Gibson, Ansell, Roberts, Fawden, Haley, Hesketh, Carbutt, Kenga, Nicholson, Normington, Walton, Williams, Mackay - plus Webb who we know has gone to the Student World Cup. Obviously such lack of continuity affects team performances but if the idea is that Thornton gets to look at the whole squad and potential recruits for next year then by know it will be crystal clear to him that improvements need to be made, all over the pitch. Can't even say we're favourites for this mickey-mouse Shield thing we're going to have to play in now - as I see it we are likely to finish 11th now (completely unacceptable) and Crusaders and Skolars for a start are clearly in better form. We'd better hope some of the rumours doing the rounds over the last month come to fruition otherwise quite frankly the future doesn't bear thinking about. As this thread was very kindly started on our behalf by our York friends it seems an opportune moment to wish them all the best in the Super 8's - bearing in mind 8-9 months ago they had neither a team or ground for 2017, to achieve a top 4 finish is a creditable achievement and shows what can be done in a relatively short period of time. Something for us to look to emulate then?
  2. In one respect I suppose it doesn't really matter if we finish in the top 8 - in reality there's no chance of winning promotion from 7th or 8th. But surely we'd all be rather playing the Donnys, Yorks and Barrows in the Super 8s, rather than the Hemels, Coventrys and South Wales's? Not to mention the ignominy of failing to make the 8 ... but that is now certain to happen to one of the traditional clubs - either us, Workington or Keighley. Of course Bradford ought to be relegated, but if it ends up that they aren't it should make for a genuinely level competition in this division next year with two open promotion places to play for, which is not what we've had for the last two years with Toulouse and Toronto in it.
  3. We did indeed play well at Barrow and Toronto - but between those two against York, we played like a pub team ourselves. And Sunday was borderline in terms of whether we would have beaten the teams around us in the league. So it's all down to which Hunslet team turns up. At least they know exactly what they need to do and can't use lack of motivation as an excuse ...
  4. So 80 points in 80 minutes, but how many were down to feeble defence rather than good attacking play? I 're-scored' the game with what I consider 'reasonable' defence and came up with 32-6! Don't suppose we should moan much when we get 50, but it didn't actually feel like a good performance ... OK in parts, but still it seems we can't play for more than about 20 minutes without collectively knocking off for a quick nap. Nobody stood out as having a particularly good game either, one part of me hopes that part of that is due to a lot of team changes over the last few weeks, but tbh I'm not too sure! So we are left with two awkward-looking games at London and home to Newcastle and we need to win both to finish in the top 8. Hmmm, could be close ... think my money's staying in my pocket
  5. Not sure I can match that for loquacity Kayakman, but yes it was one of the more memorable days in Hunslet's long history! Toronto have been blowing away most teams in the first 40, so to hold them to 22-12 at half-time with a far from full strength team was a fantastic effort, it was always going to get away from us in the final quarter as we began to run out of steam on a hot sunny evening. Thought Reed, Coventry and Wilson were excellent up front, we found a few holes in their defence and of all the players missing one I would have liked to see most was Gibson, whose craft might have got us another try. Still top, top night and great to have both sets of players and fans mingling by the beer tents after the match, there was nothing but positivity in tbe Canadian night air! And the Torontonians do seem genuinely curious and eager to learn about our game. And of course WELL DONE to the 100 or so Hunslet supporters for their magnificent efforts in coming for this game. I know the players were blown away by it. Meanwhile the 'bread-and-butter' league matches return next week and we need to step up to the plate, nothing less than 3 wins from the final 3 fixtures will do now.
  6. It's only being so cheerful keeps me going And I am wondering I'll be able to get bread and mucky fat sustenance in Toronto ... might have go with the 'healthy alternative' of maple syrup
  7. Using that logic Josh, Sunday afternoons at about 3pm would be a very good time to find all of us out of the house for a couple of hours I am going, but can only afford to do so by living in abject poverty, in a house with no contents, and eating bread and dripping morning, noon and night As for the score ... play as we did against York and we get beat by 80. Play as against Barrow and Workington and we keep it 'respectable' (which seems to be about 40-50 when playing Toronto ...)
  8. Not a lot more to add really is there! Two teams out there, one of which turned up with the attitude "if we perform like we have the last couple of games, we should be OK", the other one "tough-looking away game on paper, but if we turn up with our A-game it's one we can win". There's only ever one winner in those circumstances. Inconsistency (or it is attitude?) seems to be a major problem this season. Yesterday it seemed only Gibson had his 'game-head' on and nobody seemed capable or willing to read him. Haley managed a few worthy solo drives in the second half but the number of players who were anonymous was unbelievable - I found myself looking at the team-sheet after the match thinking "I didn't think he played"! Hats off to York who, in the first 40 at any rate, were the best side we've played this season. So Toronto next then? Hmmm. Lucky we've got a week off beforehand to "prepare" eh! ... (Thank god we've still got a sense of humour ... haven't we?? )
  9. Yes it was a good performance, in the first half especially, the highlight begin an amazing intercept from Gibson dummying, fending and side-stepping over 90 metres then giving Ansell a walk in under the sticks. BUT for the fifth time in ALL FIVE league defeats, we come away saying it was a game we could/should have won. Count 'em ... - 2 April, after 70 mins - Doncaster 24 Hunslet 24 (lost 29-24) - 14 April, after 65 mins - Keighley 12 Hunslet 12 (lost 20-12) - 30 April, after 70 mins - Hunslet 18 Whitehaven 18 (lost 18-19) - 14 May, after 75 mins - Oxford 20 Hunslet 22 (lost 24-22) - 3 June, after 70 mins - Barrow 20 Hunslet 20 (lost 28-20) And I don't think it's a fitness thing - more a mental thing and lack of game management. But whatever, it has now cost us several places in the league ladder. And you can add (in-)discipline into the mix for this one too, Hesketh's reckless challenge getting the red card he deserved, and finishing the game with 11 men with Flanagan sinbinned for arguing on Barrow's final try. So the closing stages are what Thornton needs to address as priority. Thought the shape and balance of the team looked much better already on Saturday, Watson looked happier in his old role coming into the line at pace from full back, and Gibson back in the team saw the ball moving quicker and with much more purpose. Hopefully a sign off better things to come for the rest of the season then ...
  10. Aye Workington officially the most angelic team ever to set foot on a rugby pitch! Much better yesterday, the lads obviously wanted to play for the new coach (unlike last week) and some good individual performances dotted around ... Watson, Mvududu, Flanagan, Coventry. Be interesting to see how we go at Barrow in a couple of weeks when Roberts has had some proper time to work with the team ... and we still need to get Gibson and Normington back in the team to strengthen things further. Still have the tendency to let teams back into it when we've got them on the rack though, and this is not something that's started this season, it goes right back even to our last Championship season; we always look vulnerable for 10-15 minutes at around the hour mark. It's something Roberts needs to look at as a priority, it's already cost us this season and will undoubtedly do so again if we don't solve it. But happy enough with yesterday and two much needed points
  11. Immediately, a much more balanced and stronger squad than we've seen lately.
  12. The statement doesn't say whether he's been sacked or resigned of his own free will, maybe we'll find out more in the fullness of time - or maybe not. After an 'underwhelming' (euphemism) start I thought we improved each week for a few games, up to around the Halifax Cup game, but we've gone rapidly backwards since then. Picked up that something might be up with a comment I heard at Oxford actually, but thought no more about it at the time. Well we shall have to wait and see who comes in next but I can't see how the season can be rescued from here. Four defeats already, inevitably at least another two to come (Barrow away and Toronto away) means we are certain to be in mid-table territory come the start of the Super-8s. Roll on 2018 eh! (If we're still going that is)
  13. I did say last week this match was a banana skin. What I didn't expect is that we ourselves would plant the banana skin down before us and jump directly with both feet onto it The first half we struggled to handle their wide players every time they moved the ball out. With half-time approaching we were lucky to be only 14-12 down but got a golden opportunity to go in level with a penalty under the sticks. Not respecting the opposition we ran it, lost it on tackle 2 and Oxford went down the other end and scored. So instead of 14-14 it was 20-12 going into the sheds. Second half we did play better and got in front, only to concede out wide again with a few minutes left - 24-22 down. What then happened in the closing minutes was utterly bizarre. I can only think that the team (or some players) had lost track of the score (the scoreboard isn't visible from the field of play), because with time running out and 2 points down we attempted a drop goal. But even that theory doesn't hold with what then happened. Because the drop goal never got more than 4 feet off the ground, hit an Oxford player and rebounded forward where another of their players picked it up ... offside under the sticks! A penalty to tie the game!?!? Nope, not with this lot, they tapped it and ran and lost the ball a couple of tackles in. Absolutely unforgiveable. To be fair though a win, or even a draw would have been entirely undeserved. A team with allsorts of changes to last weeks for reasons unexplained that seemed to think the fact they had bothered to turn up was enough to get the points. Very difficult to name players who had a good game; I can however think of a few who were entirely anonymous. The new lad Walker on the wing made a promising debut and scored a good try but came off injured at half-time. On the evidence of his first game he must be wondering what on earth he's signed himself up for ...
  14. Frustrating game yesterday, the fact we got so far in front so early and then seemed to disengage our brains at regular intervals, though to be fair Crusaders were well prepared to throw the ball around, with Smith (who played five times on loan for us five years ago) making the most of being given the freedom of the pitch. Seemed that just about everyone in a home shirt managed to do something good at some point but then do something daft on another occasion. Hope defence was the main topic of conversation in the dressing room afterwards, strange because of all the reasons we've managed to lose narrowly to Donny Keighley and Whitehaven this season, poor defence was not one of them. Awkward looking match at Oxford coming up next week, need to go down there in the right frame of mind as there's no latitude for "banana skins" now ...
  15. Yes indeed good game yesterday, both teams seemed to enjoy the decent weather after playing in the wet and mud every week so far. However when it came to the last ten minutes and the scores were tied it was down to who would take control ... and unfortunately it wasn't us! Doncaster got the drop goal in early and the truth is we never really threatened or even got in their half for the remainder of the game ... difficult to say whether Reed having to go off so early, or Wilson playing on clearly carrying a knock played a part in the closing stages but we never managed to build a platform to get the winning score. Still, good effort all round again and we continue to improve. Still not entirely sure what our best 17 is and neither is Coyle judging by some of the changes. A few "old boys" played against us yesterday and - Barnett excepted - did quite well, notably Martin and Welham, until he decided to stop playing and take up refereeing in the second half