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29th Jun, 2022

RUGBY LEAGUE - Midlands Hurricanes edged out by Hunslet

MIDLANDS Hurricanes suffered a narrow 22-16 defeat against Hunslet as they were made to pay for a poor first-half showing at Portway.

Hurricanes struck through Hayden Freeman, Matty Welham and Benn Hardcastle but were unable to overturn an eight-point deficit at the break.

The result leaves the Midlands club in eighth place in the Betfred League 1 table with two wins and four defeats from their six matches.

Head Coach Rich Squires said: “They came with a game plan and they followed it to a tee. It affected us; we couldn’t get going and it rattled us a little bit.

“The first ten minutes we did really well, but after that we gave away penalties and repeat sets, and they were fresh when they were attacking us. They’re a dangerous team when they do attack.

“We weren’t patient enough. We’ve got to set up a platform and play off that, and we didn’t do that today – we tried to play when we shouldn’t have. We just couldn’t get going today.”

Hurricanes scored the game’s first try on eight minutes when Freeman touched down for his sixth of the season from Hardcastle’s delightful pass.

However, Hunslet responded with a try of their own on 14 minutes when Jack Render finished well in the corner from Jason Mossop’s pass.

And the visitors struck again moments later when Harvey Whiteley burst through a gap in the Hurricanes line to score from close range.

Hunslet scored their third try in the space of eight minutes when Jacob Doyle dotted down in the corner after bouncing off Freeman’s tackle as the visitors began to throw the ball around with confidence.

And despite Hunslet having two players sent to the sin bin before half time, Hurricanes lacked patience and failed to make their advantage count as they wasted a number of promising opportunities.

However, the home side eventually found a way through on 45 minutes with the teams now evened up again when Welham superbly claimed Hardcastle’s lofted kick to score.

Hunslet took the game out of Midlands reach on 59 minutes when Whiteley crossed for his second try of the afternoon before Joe Sanderson’s penalty further extended the away side’s lead.

Hurricanes were handed a boost late on when Hardcastle crossed for his sixth try of the season on 76 minutes after some quick hands and feet pierced through the Hunslet line.

However, Hunslet forced two goal-line drop outs following the restart to see out the game.

The Hurricanes are next in action away at Rochdale Hornets on Saturday, May 7 with kick-off at 3pm at the Crown Oil Arena.

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