Hunslet Hawks: Headingley incentive for former Leeds Rhinos ace Watson

Jimmy Watson.
Jimmy Watson.
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HIGHLY-RATED YOUNG full-back Jimmy Watson has extra incentive to put in a good performance for Hunslet Hawks in Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship One semi-final at York City Knights.

The victors will go through to a Grand Final meeting with Oldham on Sunday, October 5 at Headingley Carnegie, where Watson, 23, cut his teeth as a member of Leeds Rhinos’ academy side.

“It would be nice to play at Headingley,” said Watson, who joined Hunslet from Rhinos in June last year, after a spell with them on dual-registration.

“It has been a while since I played there and it is a big pitch as well, so I think it would suit us.”

First Hawks have to get past York, who beat them to the Championship One league leaders’ trophy and have come out on top in three previous meetings this year.

“Obviously apart from the Grand Final, they don’t come much bigger,” Watson said of Sunday’s showdown, which will be the last game staged at York’s Huntington Stadium.

“We are expecting a really tough game, but the players are buzzing. We all played well against Gateshead last week, that was a great team performance and we are building for Sunday now.”

Hawks’ play-off campaign began with a shock home defeat by third-placed Oldham, who then qualified for the Grand Final by winning at York last Sunday.

Hunslet bounced back to thrash Gateshead Thunder 50-6 and Watson said: “York are a great side and we need to be on the money.

“We all know that. We know we owe it to ourselves to put in a really big performance and we know we are more than capable of doing that.”

The Championship One Grand Final winners will be promoted to the second tier for next year and Watson added: “That was one of our goals at the start of the season.

“We want to get the the Grand Final and we want promotion.

“Everybody is striving for that. It was disappointing to lose to Oldham, but we put a great performance in last week and hopefully we can do the same on Sunday.”

Watson has already committed himself to Hawks for 2015, whatever division they are playing in.

He said: “It is a great club, great coaching staff and a great bunch of players. We’ve done some miles this year and the supporters have turned up in numbers every week.

“It was an easy decision to sign again for next year.”

Will Cooke.

Hunslet sign former Castleford Tigers academy player Cooke