Hunslet 34

Keighley Cougars 0

KEIGHLEY Cougars recent run of poor form continued with a heavy defeat at Hunslet in Betfred League One.

In truth, the game was a dour affair played in horrific conditions as shown by the poor completion and execution throughout by both sides in a meeting in which at half-time the scoreboard flattered Hunslet, but by full-time was a true reflection of the match.

And that was a view shared by Paul Royston in his post-match reaction.

“The completion rate wasn’t the best from either side but Hunslet’s execution going forward was obviously better,” admitted Royston.

“We didn’t particularly get to the points that we wanted too and it’s obvious that there is some stuff that we’re doing in training that we’re not transferring into the game situation which would be the honest assessment.

“We were hoping for an improvement in the overall performance following the Oldham defeat and even though the scoreline might not reflect that, at times we got that improvement.

“We were good defensively at times throughout the game and tried to minimise their strong players that they possess in the middle of the park.

“At half-time the scoreboard didn’t really reflect that but by full-time was a fair reflection, especially after the last 20 minutes.”

The Cougars got off to a nightmare start when after knocking on in their first set before conceding a penalty on their own line from which Ben Heaton scored.

After Keighley got close to scoring following a period of pressure, Hunslet worked their way down the field and exposed a gap in the defensive line from which Nathan Chappell went through to touch down.

The two starting hookers, James Feather and Jack Lee, exchanged pleasantries after an incident in the tackle, but both escaped with a telling off from Andy Sweet.

Hunslet’s third try came from great work out of dummy half from Vila Halafihi and on the back of his break, the ball was worked wide to Gareth Potts who managed to see off the interests of Louis Sheriff to get over in the corner.

And the home side killed the game off with two quick-fire tries shortly before the interval as Mike Emmett first burrowed his way over from dummy half before Duane Straugheir broke through the line and managed to round Sheriff to get to the line.

The second half got off to a similar sort of nightmare start to the first as the hosts broke and a cross-field kick by Dean was touched down by Heaton after some pinball on the ground.

Taylor Prell came close to getting the Cougars on the scoreboard but the Hunslet defence held strong to put the winger into touch.

Cougars' evening took another sour turn as captain Benn Hardcastle took a hit in the tackle that forced him from the field with concussion and left the incident being put on report by the official.

Keighley did continue to push but couldn’t turn position and pressure into points, with it really showing when after a break from Harvey Hallas, the ball was spilled from the play the ball with the Hunslet defence still scrambling back into position.

And after Davey Dixon nearly got his hand to a Jack Miller grubber, Josh Lynam delayed the restart by kicking the ball away, earning himself a stint in the sin bin for his troubles.

The game then petered out in the final quarter until the welcome sound of the full-time hooter, but only after Zac Braham turned through a tackle to score in the final minute after Kieran Moran knocked on close to the line.


COUGARS: Sheriff 6; Dixon 5; Cooke 5; Hallett 5; Prell 5; Miller 5; Hardcastle 6; Bailey 5; Feather 7; Thackray 5; Lynam 6; Parker 5; Moran 5. Subs: Coventry 5; Cullimore 5; Hallas 7; Horn 6.

HUNSLET: Dean 5; Potts 5; Heaton 7; Chappell 6; Bloomfield 5; Nicklas 5; Southernwood 5; Robinson 6; Lee 5; Braham 6; Straugheir 7; Tonks 5; Emmett 6. Subs: Hema 5; Halafihi 6; Martin 5; Dixon 5.

COUGARS: Tries: None. Goals: None. Sin Bin: Lynam (57 – delaying the restart)

HUNSLET: Tries: Heaton (2, 41); Chappell (10); Potts (28); Emmett (38); Straugheir (40); Braham (80). Goals: Dean (2/6); Nicklas (1/1). On Report: Name TBC (49 – contact in tackle)


REFEREE: Andy Sweet (Castleford)