Hunslet Hawks 32 Doncaster RLFC 12: Dons hit rock bottom with fifth defeat

Danny Cowling is stoppped at Hunslet. Photo: Glenn Ashley
Danny Cowling is stoppped at Hunslet. Photo: Glenn Ashley
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Doncaster hit rock bottom following yesterday’s 32-12 Championship defeat against Hunslet Hawks at the John Charles Stadium.

Promoted Hawks sentenced the Dons to their fifth defeat in as many games as they bounced back from a heavy defeat at Bradford to post their second win.

With Whitehaven claiming their first win of the season against London Broncos, the Dons - who have the worst defensive record and the third worst scoring record - are now the only team in the league yet to get off the mark.

Although Hunslet’s emphatic 42-12 pre-season win at the Keepmoat Stadium meant the trip to South Leeds was never going to be easy, it was a game that the Dons had targeted for a win.

It had been hoped that the return of exciting scrum-half prospect Richard Wilkinson following knee surgery, along with player-coach Paul Cooke, would give the Dons more direction and organisation.

Wilkinson did indeed show some nice touches in attack but it wasn’t enough to affect the result and on the day it was Hunslet half-back Andy Kain who stole the show with a well-taken hat-trick.

Hawks swooped to grab a first minute lead when Kain celebrated his return to the side when intercepting close to his own line and holding off the cover to score his 150th career try, goaled by half-back partner Danny Ansell.

The Dons regrouped and hit back to lead 10-6.

Second-rower Steve Snitch and centre Lee Waterman combined well to put winger Stu Sanderson, whose conversion hit the woodwork, over.

Young dual-registered Hull FC full-back Curtis Naughton claimed the visitors’ second try, goaled by Sanderson, after latching on to a grubber kick deep in his own half.

Both sides went close – Wilkinson from his kick – and Waterman, as he had done in the big defeat against Leigh a week earlier, saving a try with an ankle tap, before Hunslet full-back Jimmy Watson touched down for a converted try from Ansell’s clever kick on the stroke of half-time.

With just two points separating the two sides at the break a keenly-contested second half looked to be in prospect.

But as was the case in the 33-8 defeat against Workington at Derwent Park, the Dons were second best in the second half.

Their best chance fell to centre Danny Cowling on 70 minutes when the score stood at 20-12, after which the home side, who had had two touchdowns disallowed around the hour mark, added two further tries.

Hunslet Hawks: Watson, Duckworth, Keinhorst, Maun, Finigan; Kain, Ansell; Yates, Lee, Mulhearn, Casey, Walters,Mackay. Subs: Flanagan, Brennan, Briscoe, Lyons.

Dons: Naughton; Scott, Cowling, Waterman, Sanderson; Cooke, Wilkinson; Carbutt, Kesik, Waller, Turgut, Snitch, Emmett. Subs: S Howarth, Robinson, Spiers, B Tyson-Wilson.