FORMER GREAT Britain star Adrian Morley was a happy man after getting his coaching career off to a winning start, writes PETER SMITH.
Morley was in charge of the Leeds Rhinos team which beat Hunslet 21-14 in the first Harry Jepson OBE Memorial Cup tie.
It was Morley’s first game in his new role as Rhinos’ academy boss and he was “really pleased,” with both the result and his young team’s performance.
Leeds hit back from 14-10 down in the second half and Morley said: “It was really exciting for me to be part of what was essentially a first team squad and I was pleased we got the win.
“I thought it was a good game and we were worthy winners.”
Morley admitted Rhinos put themselves under pressure with a series of handling errors, but he felt there were positive signs from a number of academy prospects.
“I was pleased with the young lads who came on,” he said.
“They all gave a great account of themselves. There were some good performances.”
Morley singled out England academy forward Mikolaj Oledski, who is hoping to become the first Polish-born player to feature in Super League.
“I think he’s got a big future, he was very strong,” Morley said. A strong tackling display limited Hunslet to three tries and Morley said: “We defended well – it was a pleasing performance all-round.
“A couple of the boys, – Nathan Waring and Harry Boyes – got injuries, but that was the only negative.
“On the whole it was a good day at the office.”
James Coyle, the Hunslet coach, was delighted with his team’s improvement from the 52-6 loss at Featherstone Rovers in their opening pre-season game.
He said: “It was definitely a step up. There were some key improvement areas we wanted to get better in and I think we did. There’s areas we need to work on for the next game, but that’s going to happen every week.
“If we can improve every week and add five minutes’ better rugby on to each performance, when the season starts we’ll be somewhere near.”