Game management proved pivotal as Hunslet Hawks ran out convincing 18-8 victors at Keighley Cougars in the Championship League 1 Super-8s.
Tries from Danny Ansell and Kyran Johnson put Hawks in the driving seat, but credit Keighley who rallied and cut the deficit through Adam Brook. And when seasoned playmaker Paul Handforth threw out a long pass to Rikki Sheriffe on the last tackle, Hunslet were caught cold and Paul White was able to cross to make it 12-8.
However, Hunslet got their act together and showed tremendous composure – and an excellent kicking game – to deny Keighley further scores down-slope.
Hunslet also managed a victory-securing try through Stewart Sanderson in a second half in which the visitors were also reduced to 12 players for 10 minutes.
Head coach Matt Bramald said afterwards: “The result was very important for both teams.
“The winner would definitely be looking up the table rather than down.
“Our players’ commitment was massive, to keep a team scoreless downhill in the second half and while down to 12 men for 10 minutes ...
“I’ve seen teams fold against Keighley, so that’s a fair effort (by us).
“I thought Jack Coventry was outstanding for us today.”
Coventry is on loan from Featherstone Rovers and created the opening try for Ansell, while his game management probably proved the difference between the two sides on the day.
Elsewhere yesterday in the Super-8s, Doncaster were outgunned by visitors Barrow 40-12, while on Saturday there were wins for Rochdale Hornets – 38-28 at London Skolars – and Toulouse, 46-16 over troubled outfit York City Knights.