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  1. Don't think he played against us in 2018 so difficult to comment, nevertheless good to see recruitment starting so early. However, of more interest for me in the press release was the nine who were being released. A little harsh on a couple of the names in the list IMHO (and by the same token a couple I would have expected not in the list) but it was clear from the way we finished the season there were too many underachieving/underskilled players getting too much game time. An interesting close season beckons then...
  2. Yep, plenty of disappointed and disillusioned people after the game yesterday, and with some justification. The squad, which was built to be and good enough to challenge for a top three place - and was well on course for that at the start of July - now almost certainly failing to make the playoffs. Yes there have been injuries, but every team has them this time of the season. If nothing else, yesterday showed that the 'back up' players are not good enough to come in when we have a few injuries. Anybody prepared to have a guess at the outcome of the final match at Coventry? Well done to Newcastle, good team I thought yesterday.
  3. As this game drew to a close yesterday, conversation turned to whether it had actually surpassed the York "effort" for crass incompetence. My personal opinion was that it hadn't - well not quite! The game sauntered through endless pedestrian play-the-balls and regular penalty awards - both teams seemed to be trying to slow each other down! The early injury to Watson caused uncertainty and inbalance throughout the team (Thornton had named four forwards on the bench) and was the root cause of at least three tries. For a period in the third quarter we seemed to wake up a bit and looked like we might get back into it, only to return in the final 20 to a morass of missed tackles, dropped or mistimed passes, and failures to deal with innocuous kicks. So chaps and chapesses, time to put to bed any lingering faint hopes of promotion this year. Even though if the final two rounds of the season pan out as expected and we finish fifth, the last two away games have shown we are clearly in no fit state to challenge for victory in the playoffs at any team above or around us in the table. The best we can hope for is a trip to Odsal and with it a bit of extra cash.
  4. Entertaining in parts yesterday, both sides willing to throw the ball around and Skolars looked dangerous in the opening salvoes, but the performance went some way towards exorcising the York debacle. Southernwood a worthy man of the match but we had a lot of success down the left, Tonks, Ashton and Mvududu all regularly causing trouble. The try that started with Watson fielding the kick behind his own line and ended with Wright going over by the posts was as good a try as we've scored - or conceded for that matter - all season. Important that we build on this up at Whitehaven next Sunday.
  5. Well done yesterday ... now go on and finish the job!!
  6. Ah, thank you for setting up this thread on our behalf gents!! It would too obvious to say the better side won, but that's a back-handed compliment because just about any team playing Hunslet yesterday would have been the better side! I read an article from Thornton Saturday saying the team were all fired up and couldn't wait to get stuck in. That was good to know then - otherwise goodness knows what the score would have been. I stopped counting the errors - mostly unforced knock-ons - when I realised I'd need to take my shoes and socks off ... so after about 25 minutes then. Watson did OK (after dropping the kick-off), Southernwood tried his best to no avail and a mention for Reed, Lee and Mvududu who I think were the only others who didn't knock on at any point. While most supporters agree we've had a better 2018, that's the fourth 'howler' of the season, after Keighley and Donny at home and Newcastle away ... and it was the worst of the lot. Thornton urgently needs to get to the bottom of why we periodically come up with such performances when we have shown we are clearly better than that. Meanwhile the results from yesterday have, I believe, gone a long way to sorting out the play-off positions. The wins for Workington and Doncaster have effectively secured them play-off places, leaving us and Oldham to fight for the last spot. As Oldham still have to play Bradford and York, three wins from the last four games (though you wouldn't bet on it based on yesterday) will probably see us take fifth ... and a trip to Bradford or York in the play offs. So that'll be something to look forward to then
  7. Well our squad is out and three notable omissions are Chappell (knee), Duffy (ankle) and Ashton (suspended) all of whom I would have liked to see in a Hunslet shirt on Sunday, but leaves our options in the threequarters much reduced. As usual, a few old boys making their way up the A64 on Sunday ... Foggin-Johnston, Straugheir, Grimshaw, Lee ...
  8. Might seem an odd thing to say looking at the table but I don't actually think Sunday's result will have too much bearing on the final table ... Win, lose or draw, I think we'll still have to win our other remaining four games to make the playoffs - including the 'crunch' fixture up at Whitehaven last game but one. Admittedly us winning would greatly increase our chances of finishing third. As for you gentlemen, I know you'll feel you have to keep winning but I very much suspect that whatever you do from here on in - even if you win all five or lose all five - you'll still come in second... Anyway let's not worry about the rest of the season, here's to a good'un on Sunday - may the best team win!
  9. Usual sort of display we seem to see against the teams down the wrong end of the table, Hemel came with a gameplan and I thought tackled well in the opening 20 minutes, then as the points started to come we saw the mixed bag of some great tries - coupled with some elementary mistakes! Some good individual displays ... Straugheir, Duffy, Reed, thought Wright did a decent knock when he came on. I've looked at the remaining fixtures for everybody in the promotion frame and tried to work it out but just ended up with headache! Particularly interesting fixtures this weekend, a few points have to be dropped by the 'major players'. I do think though, that winning at Whitehaven and taking the points off them is more important than winning at York... Sunday almost feels like a 'free hit' for us...
  10. The players weren't in the clubhouse when I entered but it was being discussed while I was there ... as Pudsey Hawk says they were there at 1.30 which would tie in with getting to the ground, pre-match warmups etc. However even if I had seen them I wouldn't have recognised any of them individually, except probably Parry and maybe Cowburn. So it may be that the ones drinking alcohol were not playing. If that is proved to be the case I am more than happy to retract the comment and offer an apology. Thanks for the best wishes...
  11. Stop shouting Frisky!!! Yes Tommy Brierley played full-back and did OK. He actually played for us a few times last season, on the wing. Duffy played on the 'problem' wing on the right and Chappell played at stand-off with Sanderson moving up to 7, so the backs had quite a lot of upheaval and chopping and changing to contend with.
  12. Thanks for the reply AC. I took no pleasure in writing that paragraph and made sure I firstly made mention of the positives I saw on Saturday, which I hope you noted. Nor did I make any statement to the effect that I didn't enjoy the day, or it was a waste of time and/or money, or Raiders should be thrown out of the league. However I have been coming on here with post-match comments for many years and my 'golden rule' is to call it as I see it, otherwise I'm lying to myself and anyone who reads my posts. Despite the explanations put forward about Raiders not been able to name a full complement it is still insufficient to just declare "well that's all we have" and tell them to get on with it. Apart from the simple fact that it looks disorganised and unprofessional: - it is not fair on the 13 who do take to the field to whom there is a duty of care but are given no latitude to cover for injury or option to rest - especially for the lads upfront in the 'engine room' - it is not fair on the spectators who pay to watch a match with both sides competing on equal terms - it is not fair on Oldham. Doncaster, Workington and Whitehaven, the teams with whom we are engaged in a very close battle for the three remaining play off places and quite rightly expect Hunslet's opponents to do their utmost to maximise their chances of winning and stop Hunslet taking the points - just as we do with their opponents Regarding the doctor, it would be true to say that unless Hunslet had agreed and arranged to provide theirs then the match would have been called off - which was a distinct possibility, we were told, when I arrived at the ground at around 2.30 and the doctor - making his own way down by car for which we owe him many thanks btw - had not arrived. Thankfully he did arrive and the match was able to kick off 15 minutes late - otherwise the 50 or so Hunslet fans who travelled would have had a wasted journey and the comments would have been far, far worse! But anyway, best wishes for the rest of the season, but I think more importantly beyond; I'm an expansionist at heart (though not at the expense of traditional clubs; that's not expansion, that's replacement) and I very much hope next season (if we don't get promoted) I am able to come on here and talk about a competitive match, played in front of a good crowd with two squads of 17 players, which kicked off on time. All the best.
  13. No Watson, Southernwood, Haley, Mackay or Ashton and a 540 mile round day trip, and yet we still equalled our club record win against 14-man West Wales. And it looked like being a lot more after 25 minutes too; but (thankfully in many respects) Raiders managed to pull together for fifteen minutes, stop the flow and even scored arguably the try of the match. First fifteen of the second half was our weekly period of playing like chumps but the other 50 minutes or so we scored at a rate of over a 1.5 points a minute. West Wales is undoubtedly the oddest club I can ever remember; on arriving in Llanelli the ground and clubhouse look smart, tidy and well kept, perfect for hosting semi-pro RL. It is well-staffed and the lady on the (crystal clear) PA assiduously stuck to the task of announcing the 15 tryscorers (+1 for WW) got and every one of them right! Then there's the playing aspect; despite making several new signings this week they were only able to field 14 players (something to do with an international tournament apparently); no club doctor was available and Hunslet had been asked to bring theirs; the players seen drinking in the bar BEFORE the match; and the players sauntering back to half-way for the restart - even after the very first try - made it clear they were in no mental state to win this match. The guy from Melbourne taking over the coaching reins next year must have the hardest job in RL ahead of him; transforming the culture as well as the skill and quality of the squad. Meanwhile the RFL has to look at minimum standards and ensuring they are being fulfilled. I sincerely hope Raiders are able to meet them in the near future.
  14. Chappell did OK but he needs to be told to stop kicking, unless we're near the end of the tackle count. One of his kicks was on the first tackle, the others were frankly woeful! It might have been because we were a man short, but when we were attacking to the left and it got to Sanderson he had no alternative than the long pass because there was no teammate within 10 yards of him! It made it an easy read. it was almost comical in the second half yesterday, there were huge gaps in attack and defence right in front of the sticks as Keighley loaded up their right side defence knowing full well we had no other options.
  15. A somewhat heroic and against-the-odds win, which keeps the season alive and showed some of the old never-say-die spirit that's been missing this last couple of weeks or so. But the question that has to be asked is, did Keighley lose it or did we win it? At half time it was undoubtedly theirs to lose; 10 points up against 12 men, regularly getting over the advantage line and a kicking game that we just couldn't handle. Then they came out for the second half and played one-out stuff, kicked harmlessly for touch, but worst of all turned into an undisciplined rabble that seemed to be complaining about every try we scored and ended up with only 10 men at the hooter! Ironic then, that despite playing 60-odd minutes with 12 men it was discipline that won us the game! Still plenty to work on, I didn't think much to our attacking structures in their half, and again I question if we'd have got over the winning line if not for Keighley's indiscretions. Two things you can't knock however are the fitness levels and the team spirit. So top five finish definitely back on again, one thing about the tough July we've just come through is that we have a comparatively easy run-in, but the two fixtures that stick out like sore thumbs are Whitehaven away and York away, it may be we need to win one of those to be sure of clinching a playoff place. Plenty of fun still to come then!
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