Hawkwindbag

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  1. 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
  2. All been mostly quiet on here since the Newcastle debacle on the opening day, so I assume everyone must be reasonably happy ... ish !! My own view is that we've gradually been improving week on week from that admittedly low starting point. The changes that have been made seem by and large to have worked (even though a number of players seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth!), defence in particular has improved and there's been an extra edge to the attack since Gibson, Leeming and Watson came in - though why we are persisting with Watson going to half-back so regularly is a mystery ... he needs to be running on to the ball in space. The trouble is we've not had a test against the teams we expect to be of a similar ability; three games against southern clubs and then one against a team expected to finish top half of the Championship. The weather hasn't helped and we've had to slog away in rain and mud every week, but I thought we did pretty well at Halifax, albeit without ever seriously looking like winning. But the next two games, Whitehaven and the rearrangement at Doncaster will tell us a lot about how we can expect to fare in this division. As long as we continue to improve we should have nothing to fear ...
  3. You've said it all gentlemen. Having only attended the creditable performance against Leeds of the pre-season, I was shocked at the ineptitude of Sunday efforts. Errors and dumb play all over the pitch and yes on that performance some of the players don't look good enough. As always the real test is how we react to it next week. There are plenty of players capable of coming in and potentially doing a better job than we saw on Sunday (Watson, Lee, Reed, Whitehead, Gibson ...) and so it is up to everybody from the coaching staff in their team selection, to the players who go out on the pitch to get it sorted. It can be done; you may remember we made a similar ignominious start against York in the same competition last year ... the following week we put 40 on Barrow. A similar reaction is imperative next Sunday.
  4. Somebody from the club must still look at this forum ... it's been changed to February now!
  5. Funny enough I clocked up over 1000 posts a couple of years ago, only to have mysteriously dropped to 476 again!! I thought the Leeds team had more first team experience in it than what they usually send; Sutcliffe, Keinhorst, Lilley, Walters, Handley - plus plenty of Championship experience (Baldwinson, Aston ...)
  6. Yes that was a reasonable performance I thought, a few daft mistakes but plenty of good signs and positives sprinkled across the 80 minutes. Thought Ansell looked pretty good actually, as did Normington and Reed, good to see Broughton and Wilson back in the fold but after a cracking opening quarter Wilson left the field never to be seen again Of the new lads Whitehead, Webb and Gibson all showed promise, need to see more of the rest of them. All in all, several grounds for optimism though
  7. Looks like you may be right KOL, seems the RFL have lost patience with Bradford after three administrations in five years and kicked them out of the league. Which in theory should mean they would have to join again from the bottom. If that happens they might put Toronto straight into the Championship, or not relegate Whitehaven, or put Barrow up. An interesting situation then ... As well as the Lazenby Cup on 15th January the other regular pre-season Friendly at Featherstone has been arranged for the previous Sunday, 8th Jan.
  8. Never mind the forum name ... I was beginning to think the whole forum itself would be taken offline through lack of use!! Looking round we are still Hunslet Hawks in several places that the club has no control over, from Wikipedia to other team's fixture lists, and the Hawks badge in particular is still very much in evidence. It will take time. Moving on, at the moment I feel much more optimistic about the 2017 season than for some time. Generally speaking the right players from last season have been retained, and the downward spiral the club has travelled since about half-way through 2015 seems to have been reversed. Much depends on the new coaching team and set-up, but at the moment I see no reason to see why we shouldn't be pushing for a place towards the top end of the league, certainly we should be capable of bettering last year's final position. The season starts on February 19th I believe but no pre-season games announced yet, hopefully we'll hear something about that soon.
  9. Game and a half that was, wasn't it? And no doubt about it, Toulouse got out of jail. I can't help wondering what might have happened if on that long final kick downfield, instead of the ball taking a sharp right into the post allowing the winger to gather and run at a broken defensive line, it had ran on straight and dead. It would have been a tap 20, we would have been able to set a line and another 20-30 seconds would have been used up. Not to be though ... All 17 players - all 34 players in fact - can take massive credit from the most gripping game of the season. The kicking game in wet conditions caused no end of problems with Ansell looking a different player these days, and Normington and Mvududu, as at York, doing damage down the left. Looks like we are finishing off the season strongly, it looks like it might end too soon for us though, sadly I can't see us making the play-offs with the fixtures that are left. Massive well done to all concerned for Saturday's efforts.
  10. After an enforced absence when I must have missed more games on the bounce than the last 5-6 years put together, I didn't go up the A64 with much confidence yesterday after what I'd been hearing. So yes it was a pleasant surprise to see the team put on a dominant performance which appears to have come somewhat "out of the blue". And leading the plaudits was Ansell, as we all know he gets some stick sometimes but yesterday he looked class throughout, from chasing down his own kick to give us the lead, through to the drop goal on the final hooter. The new-look right side seems to be clicking with Johnson and Sanderson looking dangerous in the first half, and the forwards, especially Normington and Coventry, always seemed to make good ground. Must make a nice change for Flanagan to come on when we're actually already on top, rather than having to come on and change the face of the game!! But well done all round, only trouble is, looking at the table and the fixtures left to play it is probably too little too late. It looks like we'll have to beat both Toulouse and Rochdale in the last two fixtures to have any chance of making the top five and a shot at promotion ...
  11. I see Skolars - two points ahead of us and only slightly better points difference - play Toulouse, so you'd have to think that if we won we would pass them. Lose though, and we will probably finish behind Newcastle and possibly North Wales, if we lose by more than about 10. So win and we probably come in 7th, lose and we could be as low as 10th ...
  12. How do you know? I've not seen anything that explains how the home/away fixtures are arranged in the Super 8s - other than teams finishing 5th-8th play three home and four away...
  13. Not if we win our two games against South Wales and North Wales they won't - they are on 9 points, we are on 12 but they have one game in hand.
  14. I thought the same when I saw the news about Duckworth ... that we've basically given up on promotion this year and have recoiled once again into 'survival mode', which seems to be a part of the natural cycle of things at Hunslet. It's like starting all over again (again). And I do find myself wondering how many times we can keep going round that loop. Hunslet RLFC in the 21st century seems to exist as a curious anachronism, playing to a community that effectively disintegrated nearly half a century ago. Back in Victorian times, the club was founded and quickly grew on the basis that it served a community that was quite distinct from the rest of Leeds; it was the industrial heartbeat of the city, with a hard-working and large local population; people were born, grew up, worked, played and died in the area, and were proud to do so; there was a endless supply of local players. So it's fair to say that the club's strengths 133 years ago have definitely become its weakness. Today the only entity of any note with 'Hunslet' in it is Hunslet Hawks RLFC! And I'm sure very few people - certainly no-one under 40 - would consider themselves 'Hunslet rather than Leeds' - in a non-RL sense of course And therein lies the unique and impossible dilemma for our club. Other clubs struggle and go through tough times; York, Oldham, Doncaster, Rochdale all quite recently, for example. But they all carry monikers that mean something to over 100,000 people living locally who can identify with the name. Where it all ends up is anyone's guess ... but eventually, the Laws of Natural Selection have a horrible way of kicking in! It's only being so cheerful keeps me going ...
  15. A fair effort yesterday, probably the best since the Salford cup game (which seems an eternity ago). Took advantage of some York errors for a well-deserved half-time lead and with a little more concentration and better game management could have taken the points. Defence over 90 yards of the pitch was excellent - I'm struggling to remember a clean break by York - unfortunately the remaining 10 yards close to our line proved our Achilles heel, which is where every one of York's five tries came from. Looked a bit sharper with the ball too, and Reed's superb offload for Watson's opening try, then scoring one himself, were key features of the first quarter when we took a 12-0 lead. Despite the game ending in defeat, I enjoyed it much more than any game lately, higher in intensity than what we've witnessed recently, and plenty of commitment and passion from both sides (too much at times in fact!). And Bootham Crescent generates so much more atmosphere than I can ever remember out at Huntington. In the meantime, I'm sure it will have passed no-one by that we have now played all the other six 'established' teams in the league (I include Toulouse in that) and lost to every one of them ...