With a mountainous task to climb against a team that had not lost in more than three seasons, Newsome Panthers regrouped to produce a team display to be proud of.
The beginning of the first half was engaged and there was no doubt that both defences had turned up from the whistle. With Hunslet Warriors defence holding up well, they prevented the Panthers to cross the line. But the Warriors did not only benefit from a strong defence, their attacking play was strong and their finishing clinical. They soon went over the line on four occasions. Halfway through the first half, a cleaver change of play from the Panthers attacking found cracks in the Warriors defence. By letting the runners rip through the defence earlier on in the tackle count, they created confusion in a well drilled defence. A kick from James Johnson in the Hunslet in goal area found Matthew Shufflebotham who grounded the bowl to the delight of his team mates and the visiting parents.
Hunslet however resumed their dominance and ran another two tries before the end of the half. Another kick from James Johnson, this time bounced straight into the arms of Luca Zaffino who took it in his stride but was denied by a last gasp defence from no less than four Hunslet players with only one meter to go.
The early exchanges of the second half were fierce and the Warriors crossed the line once more before a strong attacking play from the Panthers saw Ben Harris grounding the ball from the hooker position. The rest of the half was no less engaged but the attacking play from the Panthers was eroding with the passing minutes. The Warriors were taking full advantage of a seven men bench that despite an excellent Panthers team effort was forced to concede another three tries before the final whistle.
Again, this is in adversity that the Panthers have showed once more their resilience and should they carry on with the team effort showed against the Warriors, it will not be long until they can produce a decisive win. Their attack was good and their defence showed a lot of improvements.
It was impossible for the coaches to choose a Man of the Match and the honour was therefore awarded to all the members of the team. The moment of the match award was awarded for the two kick involving James Johnson, Matthew Shufflebotham and Luca Zaffino. The Parents most improved player could not be split either and the award was shared between Luca Zaffino and Louis Pasquier. Finally, Louis Pasquier was awarded the grafter’s award and the opposition Man of the Match award for his overall performance.