tEENAGE HALF-BACK Jordan Lilley is poised to make his second debut in six days tonight.
Lilley came off the bench for Leeds Rhinos in last Sunday’s First Utility Super League win at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and will start, as a dual-registration player, for Hunslet Hawks in their home Kingstone Press Championship clash against Halifax (8pm).
The 18-year-old Stanningley product is an England academy international and highly-rated by Rhinos’ backroom staff.
Hawks boss Barry Eaton, who was also a goal-kicking half-back and has worked with him as part of his role as a Rhinos assistant-coach, described him as a “talented kid”.
He said: “He will start and do the goalkicking as well.
“We have had a lot of discussions regarding Jordan and his development. He made his debut last week off the bench and that’s great for him.
“Simon Brown is still struggling with a sternum injury and because he made his debut last week and Leeds said he would be available, I thought it would be the perfect time for him to come in and play for us.
“It is a good opportunity for him.”
From a team point of view, Eaton is looking for Hawks to improve on poor recent second-half performances.
Hunslet led 12-0 at the break against Whitehaven last week, but conceded 28 points without reply in the final 40.
“We’ve got to maintain how we are starting games,” he stressed.
“We’ve been starting outstandingly well, but in the last three games we’ve had very, very poor second halves.
“It is a bit of a mystery, we’ve looked like an outstanding team and then fallen away, for whatever reason.
“We’ve got to make sure that gets put to bed. That doesn’t mean having a poor first half and getting some credibility in the second, it means hopefully having a good first half and being able to back it up in the second.”
Halifax will climb above Dewsbury Rams into fourth place if they win and Eaton observed: “They won at Featherstone last week and they are the form team, but it is good for us, playing a top side.
“We can take confidence from the fact we pushed them ever so close at their place over Easter and only got edged out in the last three or four minutes.”