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  1. Whitehaven at home

    Think that's the date for the round after next so again will depend on what they do in the next round. Our home fixtures against Whitehaven appear to be cursed these days, remember last year the RFL ordered it to be postponed at short notice and re-arranged because of the Cup as well??
  2. Hunslet 27, Workington 20

    First of all well done to both teams for putting on the best match seen at the SLS for some time. The game followed very much the same pattern as at Oldham last week, although it was a couple of notches up on quality. So is this the new gameplan then? Spend an hour wearing the opposition out, then turn the screw from two scores behind in the last quarter?!?! I certainly hope not, I somehow doubt we could do it every match and it's no good for the blood pressure!! The two packs went toe-to-toe until ours just about came out on top (with loanees Blagborough and Jordan-Roberts doing a lot of the "softening up"), both pairs of half-backs worked ceaselessly to probe and create openings, but as I exclusively predicted on Friday afternoon, it was the three-quarters than won it for us! I believe Walker was man of the match but there must have been a number of candidates. Both teams need to look at how to play for 80 minutes, but on that evidence both look well capable of being "in the mix" when it comes to Top 5 at the end of the season. There ... I've done another report and not mentioned the referee (getting harder though!! )
  3. workington at home this sunday

    I'd expect nothing else, as Workington supporters they'll be hoping for and expecting a Workington victory, just as I'm sure all our supporters expect a Hunslet win! It is an interesting one though, with both teams coming off the back of a supposedly shock win. For me more of what we saw in the final 25 minutes last week will see us home ... move it about a bit and we have the players in positions 1-5 to hurt any team in this division. BTW I take my hat off to the Workington supporters for keeping their forum vibrant, relevant and generally worth reading - even if they have called us Hunslet Hawks and said Watson has left Hunslet (he hasn't, Gibson has!) Same goes to Oldham fans on the back of last week's match, but too many other forums have become sadly underused (including, of course, this one ...)
  4. Would you prefer a 4G Pitch at SLS ?

    It did seem a good surface at Oldham compared to our last two home games but then we've had a lot more rain and snow than usual. There's not a cat in hell's chance of it happening in any case, but now Summer is here those muddy pitches will soon be forgotten about (he says optimistically )
  5. Oldham

    Aye, a welcome, well deserved and very rare Hunslet win in Oldham! Just as last week, there was a critical moment around the hour mark when Oldham, 16-6 up, lost the ball in the act of scoring. It was a real 50/50 call and tbh could have gone either way, but the ref disallowed it, within a minute a Watson break got us down the other end, and within five minutes we were in the lead. Watson was imperious at full back yesterday, Walker looks like the missing link on the wing and I've been much happier with Sanderson and Southernwood at half-back this last two games. Hopefully the way we played the last 20 minutes, and the fact we have beaten an established team should give the team lots of confidence for the games ahead. This result together with those elsewhere prove the open nature of this division, and with Workington, Newcastle, York and Whitehaven all up next we will have a big say in how the league looks in a month's time. Well done to the supporters who travelled to the game in numbers but special congratulations to all 17 on duty, who became only the fifth Hunslet side to win in Oldham since the birth of the Northern Union in 1895!
  6. Easter games

    So two home games, two defeats ... Still looking for explanations as to what on earth happened against Keighley, 12-0 up and cruising after fifteen minutes, suddenly they got a try against the run of play and you could almost see the confidence switch from the team on the right over to the team on the left. In a league where away wins amongst the top 8/9 clubs are worth their weight in gold, two points were carelessly gifted to one of our rivals. As the week before, attitude and leadership in the middle of the field needed some serious questioning. The Bradford game I quite enjoyed in an 'old-fashioned' sort of way, despite entirely different conditions and much weaker line-ups the game ran very similar to the one at Odsal a fortnight ago. It was heartening to see us controlling the game for long periods, especially in the second and third quarter, undoubtedly the killer moment was dropping it from the kick off at 10-14, next time we saw the ball they had posted two tries and a penalty, 10-28 and game over. Mixed bag from the three players making their debuts in admittedly difficult conditions, Gill on one wing looked nervous and short on confidence, Walker on the other wing did OK with limited opportunites but new hooker Halmshaw I thought showed lots of promise, nippy and industrious, scoring one try and having another perfectly good one chalked off. So on to another tricky match at Oldham on Sunday, I'm sure the team will be very different again to what we've seen over Easter but we need to find a way to win against the 'traditional' teams, otherwise the season will run along very similar lines to last ...
  7. Bradford 32, Hunslet 12

    So as many predicted the winning run came to end, but as I left Odsal yesterday I couldn't help feeling we could have got more out of the game, almost to the point that I was wondering if we'd held something back for the tough schedule to come. Seemed that by early in the second quarter the course of the game had been set; Bradford's mentality seemed to be "if we carry on like this we've no chance of losing", ours seemed to be "if we carry on like this we've no chance of copping a good hiding". Even the introduction of Flanagan from the Bulls' bench strangely failed to alter proceedings. Bradford regularly sent their big props charging down the middle but despite hesitation from time to time, by and large we coped with them. But the nature of the tries we conceded - three from 2/3 yards out and the other three from kicks - shows exactly where we let ourselves down. Watson and Foggin-Johnson were our best yesterday but too many in the middle of the field were quiet, and we needed somebody to take by the scruff of the neck and make something happen to alter the course of the game. It's also time to abandon the extended experiment of using Gibson on the wing. Then tighten that goal line defence up, and the rematch in the Cup could be interesting...
  8. Hunslet 26, NWC 10

    A workmanlike victory yesterday, still room for improvement but we did well to notch a comfortable win with the disruptions going on and the stop-start nature of the game. A few positives and negatives from the match: + we look strong in the centre and it will be interesting to see who gets the nod if/when we are injury free + defence looks organised and working reasonably well (apart from the soft try at the end) + if Lee continues the season in the same vein he's started we might not miss Flanagan too much - the injuries have to be a concern; going into the game without Mvududu, Grimshaw, Southernwood, Foster and Dean Roberts, we then saw Mallinder, Flynn, Shaun Roberts an Ashton come off hurt yesterday - the team has yet to perfom greater than the sum of its parts; the disruption doesn't help and we have 'purple patches', but looking at the scores some other teams are posting I suspect that, despite the table, we are not a top four team just yet. Work needed here as we have a series of difficult matches ahead now. Still, eight wins on the trot and, fact fans, it was 1997 when a Hunslet team last strung together a longer winning run. And finally, as someone far more famous than me once said, I never comment publicly on the referee, and I'm not going to change the habits of a lifetime for that idiot!
  9. Room for improvement

    Thankfully we got off to a good start and then had another 10-minute purple patch midway through the second half, but made hard work of it the rest of the game, and it certainly wasn't a spectacle to live in the memory. The biggest plus for me was Lee who looked much fitter and sharper again at hooker, Watson had a better game at full-back and Nicholson got through some work up front. Think this was one of those games where you come away happy to take the two points and move on, it was a difficult pitch ('turf' is not an accurate description!) and I think we have better players to come in that didn't travel yesterday. And to be fair Hemel do look to have improved, in fact playing there on a mucky day might be a potential banana skin for somebody. Expecting to see improvements in the couple of home games up next.
  10. Any match reports

    It was OK actually, nothing like as bad as the final score suggests but three late scores blew it out a bit, not unexpected as York have already played several pre-season matches. It was competitive throughout and well-attended by both sets of supporters. Usual pre-season friendly rules applied however; some players looked good (Straugheir, Nicholson, Roberts), some still have plenty to prove or were clearly not fully fit, and the game sometimes lacked cohesion as eight subs on both sides were brought on to give everybody a chance. But most of what I would expect to be our first choice threequarter line were sitting near me in the stand (Grimmer did OK at centre Suzzy! Especially in defence, but I still prefer him at No 6 (or failing that No 13) where he can have more influence on the game. Despite the last five minutes I think we can expect to see a much improved team this season.
  11. York vs Hunslet

    Pretty much the same way as I saw it from the "other side". Shame the score blew out a bit the last five minutes, I'd have been happy with 12-6 or even 18-6 but I guess it was inevitable the extra pre-season games would give York the advantage late on. It was really a game like a hundred other pre-season I've watched over the years ... I saw players I would put straight into the team for the first game proper, players who didn't do much for me and still have everything to prove, players who not looking ready fitness-wise for the start of the season ... on both sides! And these games are always disjointed in places as coaches quite rightly make numerous changes to try things out and give different players a chance to show what they can do. I'm sure both coaches would have taken a lot from the game. Anyway I believe that was your final pre-season run-out, so all the best against Bradford in the first game proper!
  12. Baby Robins Friendly

    Flanagan is in but no Lee, so just one hooker, but there are I think seven half-backs named so perhaps one of those is expected to fill in. Bit light in the threequarters as well, no wingers and only two centres (I don't class Grimmer as a centre)
  13. So where do you think we will finish ?

    Ah, I love this time of year when supporters are flushed with bullishness at their teams' prospects for the new season! For what it's worth KOL, I think you have got the right teams in the top 4/5, plus Newcastle ... but not necessarily in the right order! I don't subscribe to the theory that Bradford are going to walk away with this division, and as for us, we've a lot of new players coming in so we must expect it to take a little time. Some of our new lads I know nothing about but I take encouragement from the fact that as new signings have been announced, no-one - including supporters of teams we've signed them from - has come out and said we've signed a donkey. So now for your next challenge ... what will the first choice 17 be? OK it's difficult until we've seen everybody, but I expect the first match proper to have a line-up something along the lines of Watson Gill Mvududu Chappell Foggin-Johnson Grimshaw Southernwood Haley Lee (if he gets fit again) Nicholson Straugheir Mallinder Mackay Subs Flanagan Reed Coventry + any of about half a dozen; Sanderson, Flynn, Foster, Ashton, Gibson ...
  14. Bradford ?

    Come on, there's no way the Shield is a dog bowl. If you'd won it yourself you'd have quite clearly been able to see ... it's a tea-tray
  15. Bradford ?

    Fancy finding you on here winding them up KOL!! Know what I'd like to see, Hunslet and York finishing 1st and 2nd (in that order of course), ahead of Bradford in 3rd! (or 4th, or 5th ...)