Hunslet v Siddal: Parksiders coach Alan Kilshaw wary of underdogs' threat but keen to impress in Challenge Cup tie on BBC

Hunslet coach Alan Kilshaw believes Sunday's Betfred Challenge Cup third round tie against Siddal is not only a test, but also an opportunity to show what his new-look side are all about.

By Peter Smith
Friday, 11th February 2022, 4:45 pm

Hunslet saw off League One rivals Keighley Cougars in the previous round, two weeks ago and backed that up with a 34-6 defeat of Leeds Rhinos in last Sunday’s Harry Jepson OBE Memorial Trophy tie.

Siddal are one of the top teams in the community game’s flagship National Conference and have beaten semi-professional opposition twice in previous Challenge Cup ties, hammering Doncaster 26-0 in 2010 and Newcastle Thunder 30-4 six years later.

The BBC have chosen the tie for live coverage on their iPlayer, sport website and app and Kilshaw admitted: “It will be a challenge.”

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Duane Straugheir is set to return for Hunslet. Picture by Paul Johnson/Hunslet RLFC.

He said: “It will probably be one of the rare occasions when we are going to be favourites for a game.

“We will have to handle that and there’s no pressure on the underdog.

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“It’s always better being the underdog, especially in a Cup situation, but we are the professional side and we have ambitions this season.

Alan Kilshaw. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

“We want to go well and the score needs to reflect that after the game.”

Kilshaw added: “We respect them - I have had a look at them, Jamie Greenwood at hooker is a decent player and their halves go well.

“They scored some good tries against Pilks [Pilkington Recs, in the previous round] and we are aware of the threat.

“It is up to us to come out and have a controlled performance.”

Admission prices have been pinned at £5 and the BBC coverage will put Hunslet in the spotlight.

Kilshaw said: “Over the past couple of seasons there may have been a bit of a disconnect with the supporters, but I feel that’s coming back now.

“I feel we are going in the right direction and, being on the BBC, this is a great showcase for us to build that support.”

Hunslet are without Wayne Reittie (back), Rowland Kaye (ankle), Cam Berry (concussion), Matty Stableford (arm) and Liam Carr (shin) because of injury.

Hunslet (v Siddal): from Watson, Render, Mossop, Hartley, Gibbons, Mallinson, Hallas, Whiteley, Straughier, Jordan-Roberts, Summers, Syme, O’Hanlon, Bodman, Rowley, Horn, Paga, Beer, Moorhouse, Sanderson.

Referee: Andy Sweet (Castleford).

Kick-off: Sunday, 1pm.

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