Hawks put up a brave display against might of Bradford

Brett Delaney
Brett Delaney
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Not even the inclusion of Leeds Rhinos’ Grand Final- winning second-rower Brett Delaney had much impact on Hunslet Hawks, who never recovered from a devastating first-half blitz of six tries by a rampant Bradford side.

Australian star Delaney was one of six Rhinos players either on loan or dual registration in the Hawks side but it was the former Super League outfit’s 21-year-old full-back and his team-mates who made the headlines. Ryan Shaw claimed a hat-trick and kicked eight goals in a 28-point haul with Adam O’Brien and Jake Mullaney also grabbing braces as the Bulls ran in 10 tries.

The Hawks, who followed encouraging displays against Featherstone and Batley with a first victory over Dewsbury, had little answer with Luke Briscoe scoring their only try just after the hour mark and Simon Brown converting.

Part-timers Hawks were already 40-0 adrift by that stage as Shaw twice, Mullaney, Lee Gaskell, O’Brien and Danny Williams all crossed before the break with Tom Olbison increasing the home team’s advantage afterwards.

The rampant Bulls added further touchdowns from Shaw – his hat-trick on 66 minutes – O’Brien and Mullaney to compound Hunslet’s misery.

Hunslet coach Barry Eaton said: “In the second half we showed up well mentally to turn things around and ask some questions of the Bradford defence. The speed at the ruck was the difference – Bradford are full-time and able to work on those facets during the week.”

A strong Hawks side defeated local rivals Hunslet Club Parkside 24-10 in front of 350 fans on Saturday.

Rocky Price and Luke O’Malley scored the hosts’ tries, with Jamie Fields tagging a goal. Ryan Backhouse, Matthew Cook, Marcus Elliott, Mo Agoro and Mufaro Mududu countered with tries for Hawks, with Cook kicking two goals.

Bradford: Shaw; Uaisele, Purtell, Baile, Williams; Gaskell, Mullaney; Clough, O’Brien, Sidlow, Pitts, Walshaw, Mellor. Substitutes: Fleming, Olbison, Ferguson, Tahraoui.

Hunslet Hawks: Watson; Duckworth, Keinhorst, Maun, Finigan; Brown, Ansell; Yates, Lee, Mulhern, Delaney, Casey, Houston; Substitutes: Flanagan, Briscoe, Mackay, Brennan.

Referee: Chris Leatherbarrow.

Attendance: 5,019.