Hunslet v Leeds Rhinos: Parksiders set to go fourth and conquer in Harry Jepson OBE Memorial Trophy tie

Hunslet will be looking to extend their winning streak against Leeds Rhinos to four games in the Harry Jepson OBE Memorial Trophy tie at South Leeds Stadium tomorrow.

By Peter Smith
Saturday, 5th February 2022, 4:45 am

Rhinos have not won the annual pre-season derby, previously known as the Lazenby Cup, since a 21-14 victory five years ago.

The Parksiders came out on top 50-18 in 2018, 34-28 the following year and 48-6 in 2020 and there was no fixture last season because of the pandemic.

Hunslet’s new-look squad already have a competitive game under their belt, having beaten Betfred League One rivals Keighley Cougars 22-6 in the Challenge Cup six days ago.

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Rhinos celebrate their victory over Hunslet in 2017, the last time they won the annual pre-season derby. Picture by Jonatrhan Gawthorpe.

Coach Alan Kilshaw will give players who did not feature in that game an opportunity and admitted: “It will be an even younger side this week.”

He said: “We want to give other people an opportunity to play and show what they can do.

“That’s only fair, then everyone will have had a decent run.”

Rhinos will also field a youthful lineup, made up mainly of academy and reserve players. But Kilshaw said: “I’ve spoken to Rich [Agar, Leeds’ coach] to get a feel for what sort of team they are putting out and to make sure that marries up with us.

“We want it to be a competitive game either way.

“We have got a lot of lads who are just out of academy and they’ve got a lot who are in their academy and a few who are trying to push through to play regular first grade.

“It should be a good game and an exciting spectacle.

“They might be academy players, but they are academy players in one of the best systems in England so they are going to be good players.

“You have to be a good player to play for Leeds.

“We’ve got Jack Mallinson out of that system and he was outstanding last week, so we know it’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be a very competitive game.”

Hunslet’s Challenge Cup third round clash with Halifax-based National Conference side Siddal has been chosen for live coverage on the BBC iplayer, website and app.

The tie will be played at South Leeds Stadium a week tomorrow, with a 1pm kick-off.

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