Hunslet 'out-enthused' by Doncaster in League One play-off defeat boss Alan Kilshaw admits

Hunslet will need to be tougher in big games next season, coach Alan Kilshaw admits.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 11:45 am
Dom Brambani's kick set up Hunslet's opening try against Doncaster. Picture by Tony Johnson.

The south Leeds side’s season is over after they fell at the first hurdle in the Betfred League One play-offs, losing 31-10 at Doncaster.

The Parksiders scored the game’s first and last tries, through Wayne Reittie and Matty Chrimes, but could not close the gap after Doncaster had opened an 18-6 half-time lead.

Kilshaw felt there was a knock-on before the 40-20 kick which led to Doncaster’s crucial third try on the stroke of half-time, but accepted his team were second best overall.

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Matty Chrimes, who scored the final try of Hunslet's season. Picture by Tony Johnson.

“They played tough, they defended well and did it without some middles,” he said of the Dons.

“That’s the disappointing thing, we really should have been able to roll them with the team we put out, but they were a bit tougher.

“That’s tough to take - they ran harder than us and tackled harder than us.

“That’s the game, some old habits die hard and a couple of those things came out when we were fatigued and under pressure.”

Kilshaw, who was appointed after previous boss Gary Thornton was sacked in July, stressed: “In a play-off game you’ve got to be desperate and want it more and they did out-enthuse us at crucial points.

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Hunslet had a completion rate of more than 90 per cent in the previous week’s win at league runners-up Workington, but weren’t able to replicate that.

“We put pressure on ourselves with too many errors in the first half,” Kilshaw admitted.

“After going 6-0 in front, we panicked a little bit with the ball, I thought, and went away from the things we’d practised.

“Pressure football can do that to you and I was pretty disappointed with the tries we conceded in the first half.

“The try before half-time was a tough one to take because we felt there was a knock-on before the 40-20 but, in saying that, we should have been able to field the 40-20.

“In the second half, they defended really well.

“We had enough opportunities with the ball at 18-6, but we just couldn’t get over.”

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