Hunslet Hawks Match Preview by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar)
Following a week off due to the Northern Rail Cup Semi Finals, Paul March’s Cougars return to action against Hunslet Hawks, who dropped to the foot of the Kingstone Press Championship table after the Barrow Raiders defeated the York City Knights.
There were many positives to take out of the victory over Doncaster RL two weeks previous for Paul March, especially the performances of trio James Haley, Scott Leatherbarrow and Sean Hesketh who made the Championship team of the week following the victory. Another positive will be the debut of Sean Kelly, the Under 20’s captain who put in a solid performance against the men from South Yorkshire.
The Cougars first victory in a month was completed after a dominant second half performance in which they kept the Dons quiet as the likes of Paul White and James Haley began to score tries for fun along with Scott Leatherbarrow who ran eighty metres in a fantastic solo effort. Elliott Cosgrove also put in a fantastic defensive performance which saw him awarded the Yorkshire Times Man of the Match.
The Cougars also look set to get stronger after no fewer than ten of the first team outfit had run outs for Dean Muir’s Under 20’s against Featherstone on Thursday. Craig Moss and Matt Bailey both continued their returns from injury along with Gavin Duffy and Richie Barnett who both marked their return from their own injuries in the defeat at the Big Fellas Stadium.
For the Hunslet Hawks, coached by former Cougars coach Barry Eaton, they come to Cougar Park in search of a first win since the 28th April when they defeated the York City Knights.
Barry Eaton’s charges come into this fixture with a side built on the back of loan signings and dual registration stars as an injury and suspension depleted side are costing them dearly in their fight against relegation from the Kingstone Press Championship. Loan signings however have been a talking point for the Hawks this week as they completed deals for Thomas Coyle and Matthew Tebb for the remainder off the season.
But the dual registration with Leeds Rhinos is currently proving not as effective as earlier in the campaign with many turning out at Headingley to help solve the Rhinos current ongoing injury crisis. They will also be without David March who is ruled out injury and possibly James Houston who was cited for a Grade B Dangerous Contact. Some pluses for the Hawks are that Danny Grimshaw and Luke Helliwell will face fitness tests as well as the return of Liam Hood for this Sunday’s fixture.