Date: Friday 3rd April
Venue: South Leeds Stadium
Barry Eaton’s Hawks welcome Paul Rowley’s Centurions to the South Leeds Stadium this Friday. Can the Championship 1 playoff champions of 2014 shock the reigning Championship champions?
Last Time Out
Hunslet went to Doncaster in hope of being the first team to beat Sheffield Eagles at the Keepmoat Stadium this year. When the Eagles went down to 12 men after 39 minutes, Hunslet had a great chance to come away with the victory as they had all of the second half to exploit the man advantage. Unfortunately for the Hawks, the victory wasn’t meant to be as they went down 28-14. Sheffield were 12-0 up after 15 minutes due to a brace from Misi Taulapapa, but the half ended on a sour note for the winger as he was sent off for an altercation with Hawks’ hooker George Flanagan. Danny Ansell kicked for goal from the following penalty and was successful with his attempt. Quentin Laulu-Togagae and Michael Knowles both crossed the whitewash for Sheffield as they extended their lead, but the Hawks weren’t down and out as Rob Mulhern and Flanagan scored two tries without reply to bring their side back to within eight points. Kyle Briggs scored the last try of the contest for the Eagles with five minutes left on the clock.
Leigh Centurions went into last week’s match with Whitehaven with an unblemished five wins from five league record. After last Sunday’s proceedings, that record became six wins from six as the Centurions put Whitehaven firmly to the sword to the tune of a 60-0 scoreline. Jonathan Pownall, Liam Kay and Michael Platt had all scored tries within the first 12 minutes of play as the procession started. Pownall, Ridyard and Kay all added tries as the half hour mark approached. It was Pownall who’d be the first to gain an hat-trick as he swept over on the 37th minute, closing out the half’s scoring in the process. Jake Emmitt and Gregg McNally both went over the whitewash in the opening stages of the second half before Kay completed his hat-trick. Ryan Brierley and Ridyard were the players to put the icing on the Leigh cake with a try apiece.
Keeping the Leigh wingers quiet will be one of many tasks Hunslet will have to undertake during the 80 minutes on Good Friday. Jonathan Pownall and Liam Kay come into this match with an hat-trick each under their belts from the game against Whitehaven while Hunslet wingers Vinny Finigan and James Duckworth failed to get on the scoresheet against Sheffield. The Centurions like to spread the ball wide and at a fast rate so it’ll be interesting to see how Finigan and Duckworth deal with the potent scorers that Leigh possess.
It’ll take a mammoth effort for Hunslet to stop the Leigh machine from rolling on. The Hawks will fancy their chances more on home turf than at Leigh Sports Village so they’ll be up for causing an upset – Leigh by 36