Hunslet Warriors 30-14 Beverley
A youthful Beverley outfit took to the field in this encounter and came up short but must take some credit for their efforts. A bulky more experienced Hunslet outfit clearly were on top in this opening fixture but a number of factors hampered the visitors. Not least, injuries to Lewis Poskitt, Francis Coggle, Josh Poskitt, Dan Smart, Lewis Miller and Bobby Howdle leaving Beverley without substitutes and down to 12 men at various stages. These factors also combined with a failure to complete sets.
Newly installed Head Coach Sam French commented ” It was a difficult one for us today, whilst we shot ourselves in the foot at times, we showed we can defend well but had to do too much defending because we were not smart with the ball in hand”.
The visitors looked in a good place at the break being only 12-10 down despite playing up the slope and into the teeth of an icy wind. However, the early minutes of the second half saw the game go away from them. The early exchanges of the first half saw the visitors struggle to get out of their own half. Possession was spilled early in the tackle count on a couple of occasions and the resulting pressure saw Alfie Marshall put the visitors in the lead goaled by Jordan Gale after 5 minutes.
As the visitors enjoyed more of the play they hit back in the 15th minute. Direct from a scrum Lewis Poskitt’s long pass found Josh Poskitt whose well-timed pass found Jonny Norman who did well to cross wideout. The extras were not added. Full-back Josh Poskitt looked to be having a blinder until having to leave the field through a head injury. Midway through the first half, a clearing run took him through several defenders before getting a pass away to Francis Coggle who was eventually pulled down. On the half-hour mark, the visitors made no mistake as Billy Riby crossed on the end of a passing movement to the left. Josh Poskitt converted. Moments later, when the home side was on the attack, Riby threatened a second score. The ball went loose in the Beverley 20 and Billy Riby kicked ahead several times but could not get a favourable bounce of the ball. Just before the break, Mickey Hoyle restored the home sides lead with a try improved again by Jordan Gale to make the score 12-10 to Hunslet.
The kick-off in the second half saw the hosts regain possession and Beverley had to defend a dangerous set close to their line. They failed to hold out in the 45th and 50th minutes as both Jordan Gale and Dylan Thornton crossed with the latter converted by Jordan Gale. Hunslet now led 22-10.
Shortly after, a break by Josh Poskitt saw him kick the ball inside to supporting players. It seemed he was taken out off the ball and left the field injured. Midway through the second half, Dan Smart did go close for the visitors getting over the line only to fail to ground the ball.
In the 64th minute, Beverley did look to be hitting back. The impressive Casey Hutchinson made a promising break and getting a pass to Beverley’s player of the match Francis Coggle who was pulled down short. A quick play the ball did see sharp passing to the left sending Dan Precious over in the corner. The extras could not be added. It proved to be the visitors’ last word as Tyler Dargan and Alfie Marshall added further scores to stretch the hosts out to 30-14.