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  1. Hawkwindbag

    Hunslet 16, Bradford 36

    That felt like a game that was won and lost in February, when George Flanagan moved from one side to the other! Certainly little in it until he came on and turned the game in the second half; it was always likely he would score as we've been conceding those types of tries all season. It also showed though, that we've got no-one these days who can be a bit cheeky and play the ref; there are a few of them around this division still and I hope the fact we don't have one doesn't cost us. It seemed the Bradford forwards often carried on making too many yards after contact, but then when the likes of Haley and Reed got the ball they did much the same - seems to be a by-product of the very hard grounds we're playing on now. Think we missed Braham on that front yesterday. The half backs were again a little too ineffective yesterday and this does seem to have coincided with our slight dip in form this last few weeks. So two not entirely unexpected defeats coupled with a few shock results leaves Bradford and York now comfortably ahead and then six teams separated by just two points. Needless to say the next two games v Doncaster and at Keighley are now of added importance if we are to re-assert ourselves in the race for the top 5.
  2. Hawkwindbag

    Workington on Sunday

    Don't believe all you read on the club website ... last week at Wrexham the report said Ashton scored the final Hunslet try when in fact it that was Mvududu also. A very odd case of mistaken identity, if ever I saw one!! And to add to the oddness, the report actually came with a picture of Muffa scoring the try!
  3. Hawkwindbag

    Workington on Sunday

    So as I intimated midweek, here endeth our unbeaten run. Two main reasons why we came unstuck yesterday; a) the team announcement didn't begin "1-Watson, 2-Foggin-Johnson, 3-Chappell...", then two players announced playing their first game for two years and another two making their Hunslet debut. Those three were missed, though to be fair Duffy did a fair job filling in at full-back, but defensive mix-ups down the right side cost us two tries. So too much change in the team; certainly some of the togetherness that has pulled us through when things get tough so often this season seemed lacking. b) the sin-binning of Flynn early in the second half was a game-changer, Workington were certainly capable of taking advantage of it and to be fair we had been put on a team warning at the time. Shame really, as we seemed well on course at half-time. Straugheir put another captain's stint in down the right but lacked the usual quality outside him, Mvududu had his best game of the season and Williams will be a good acquisition when he beds in. Sanderson and Southernwood had their quietest games for some time. So a not entirely unexpected defeat under the circumstances but plenty of pointers for the coaches and players for where we need to improve.
  4. Hawkwindbag

    Workington on Sunday

    Hmmm, not sure about this one. Seven wins on the bounce says we are certainly capable of winning but the last three games have hardly been statements that we can sweep all before us. And in each of them we conceded a Penkywicz/Flanagan type try! If we've been watching our own match videos we could do a lot worse than look at how Crusaders defended on their own line, which was outstanding. Team selection will be interesting with new signings Tonks and Wright from Keighley, and I believe Daley Williams available for the first time. Anyway looking forward to Sunday and will be travelling up with hope in my heart!
  5. Hawkwindbag

    League 1 resuts as of Sunday 1st July 2018

    Yes so far so good and we never know when we're beaten, but it also feels like we've been riding our luck a bit too often - culminating in yesterday. But the rest of this month will be massive in where we actually finish - Workington A, Bradford H, Doncaster H and Keighley A. I have a feeling our current run might not stand up to that little lot. I would probably take four points from those games which would keep us on track for Top 5, six points would keep us in good stead for Top 3, win the lot and we will probably be challenging for second! Other key games this month include: Keighley v Oldham and the Cumbrian Derby on the 15th; Bradford v York on the 22nd; and Doncaster v Oldham on the 29th.
  6. Hawkwindbag

    North Wales Crusaders - 1st Julyl 2018

    There was also talk of Bloomfield and the players on the left being offside for the final Crusaders try - but losing to a controversial try given/not given would never be a bad as losing to a non-drop-goal - there's always some sort of doubt attached to the act of try-scoring that isn't as black and white as a kick at goal. The pitches must all the the same by now (ours certainly is!) We were talking about this yesterday and the summer of '76 - but of course we didn't have Summer rugby then. I think this is the longest dry spell we've had since the introduction of Summer rugby and yes it will start to cause problems. Anyway good luck for the rest of the season and if you want to take yesterday's result out on Whitehaven next week, be our guest!
  7. Hawkwindbag

    North Wales Crusaders - 1st Julyl 2018

    BTW how rubbish is the BBC results service? When I got back home last night it was showing the result as 18-14 to North Wales, this morning it has been corrected to 18-19 but the scorers are listed as Tries - Sanderson 2, Ashton; G-Sanderson 3; DG-Sanderson. The actual try scorers were Straugheir, Sanderson, Mvududu, 3 goals from Sanderson and it was Southernwood who "scored" the drop goal. Maybe the journalist covering the match is related to the officials ...
  8. Hawkwindbag

    North Wales Crusaders - 1st Julyl 2018

    I'm beginning to think we could get away with murder this season Many times this season we've found a way to win late - all of them legal and most of them deserved. Not so yesterday! Seeing that drop goal "go over" again makes you wonder how the officials could have missed it - the ref was in line with the sticks which can sometimes make it difficult but to anybody on the sidelines (e.g. the touch judges) it was obvious it dropped under the bar. No-one in the crowd could work out what the referee had given (originally I thought he'd given us a penalty), only when we got back to half-way by process of elimination did it start to dawn on everyone what had happened! Tough luck on Crusaders who deserved a draw. It was no classic, the conditions caused both sides problems and the most impressive aspect was Crusaders goal line defence which saved 2/3 certain tries. But the grounds are baked like concrete now, which seems to be causing problems handling the ball and, perhaps contrary to what you'd expect, is resulting in forwards-dominated battles. Straugheir came back and was probably our best player, Chappell showed a few good touches but for most it was it was an afternoon of toil in 30 degree heat. The irony is that a draw would have been good enough! It would still have taken us to third in the table, and being on an odd number of points would have rendered our rubbish points difference irrelevant. But repeats of that performance with the fixture schedule we have for the rest of July will certainly not leave us in third place by the end of the month.
  9. Hawkwindbag

    Another nail biter 80 mins

    We keep pulling 'em out don't we! To be honest I thought both teams were a bit 'off' yesterday, yes there was some good defence on show, but the game was never really allowed to develop due to the idiosyncratic** refereeing display. Think the score was just about right in the end though the final few minutes seemed never-ending! And in an echo of the away game Oldham, in the lead and in a period of the second half when they were on top, dropped the ball over the line, we go up the other end and score and the whole complexion of the game changed. Braham has now come on and help alter the course of the game in both games he's played, the half backs got the better of their opposite numbers but really a good team performance and never-say-die attitude. If only we could be in front against a fellow top 8 side with 10-15 minutes to go!! Next up, a trip to Wrexham and potential banana skin so we need to send a strong squad and maintain focus... ** I thought long and hard about the least disrespectful manner to describe the referee's performance before settling on 'idiosyncratic'
  10. In his/her own words!! Check the "where do you think we'll finish" thread on our forum ...
  11. It won't be a naked run - he/she will be wearing a Hunslet scarf
  12. Hawkwindbag

    So where do you think we will finish ?

    So then as promised, time to revisit this, exactly half-way through the season and everybody has played everybody else once. And lo and behold, there we are tucked nicely in the top five! 1 Bradford 13 12 0 1 587 143 24 2 York 13 11 0 2 585 172 22 3 Oldham 13 10 0 3 470 150 20 4 Hunslet 13 9 0 4 410 278 18 5 Keighley 13 8 0 5 540 303 16 6 Workington 13 8 0 5 421 257 16 7 Doncaster 13 8 0 5 419 261 16 8 Newcastle 13 7 0 6 414 278 14 9 Whitehaven 13 7 0 6 374 283 14 Interesting to look back now at what folks from several clubs were saying before a ball was kicked, especially those who thought we had no chance of getting near the top 5!! At the mo I'd say Bradford, York and Oldham are well on their way to a top 5 finish, then perm any two from Hunslet, Keighley and Workington for the other slots.
  13. Hawkwindbag

    Hunslet 40, Coventry 16

    Let's start with our opponents this week, and a big pat on the back for their efforts, Coventry certainly played well above their lowly league position and more performances like that will surely see them picking up more league points. As for us, far too many players were off their game; although we made plenty of breaks, most of them also came to nothing due to handling errors, wrong options or, to be fair, good scrambling defence by Coventry. So, a good job the right side was working then, Chappell and Foggin-Johnston sharing five tries and some good long-distance ones among them too. If it hadn't been for their efforts it genuinely could have been a close game. All in all not a game to live long in the memory, and a repeat performance next week would be highly unlikely to secure the points against an Oldham side that hasn't lost a league match since we won there in early April.
  14. Hawkwindbag

    Jekyll & Hyde

    And we might well be glad of them, July will be a tough month to say the least. However I don't have too many qualms with the quality of the squad - I've now seen us play all the other eight top 5 candidates (including Bradford twice) and we are undoubtedly just as capable as any of them. My main concern is the random "mass switch-off" we seem to endure every week at some stage. This for me is the biggest problem for Thornton to solve; we are good enough to make the top 5 but we certainly won't go any further until we learn to play for 80 minutes.
  15. Hawkwindbag

    Jekyll & Hyde

    Yes folks, once again we manage to mix periods of great rugby with mistake-ridden fatuity in equal amounts! In London today it took 30 minutes for someone to flick the switch, in which time we'd dropped the ball twice in our own 20 and kicked off straight into touch. And Skolars these days are good enough to capitalise, going 18-0 up. We then magically sprung to life and scored 36 points in half an hour, suddenly looking unstoppable, with the props - new signing Braham particularly - making big yards and Southernwood and Halmshaw probing well behind. Then we turned the switch off again and needed a Southernwood drop to make the game safe, winning 37-30. So a win based on 30 minutes play in truth, and that 80 minute performance seems as far away as ever; I think about 60 is about the best we've managed, at Doncaster. Still let's not complain too much ... the two banana skin fixtures in this league are Skolars and Crusaders away and we've got one of them ticked off. And nice to see us fourth in the table for the next 24 hours!