Monday, 21 March 2016

Hornets do a Pro Job on Siddal

Hornets 48 - Siddal 20

We should know the script by now. Draw an amateur side in the cup and they’ll chuck the kitchen sink at you for half an hour, score a try or two, celebrate like they’ve won the lottery - and tell anyone who’ll listen that the only difference between League 1 and the NCL is a contract.

Having bullied Newcastle in the previous round, Siddall made a decent fist of this contest: yes, putting themselves about a bit,  leaving limbs in every tackle, but playing some decent football in the process to prove once again that - on any given Sunday - a good community side can be only 28 points worse than a League 1 side.

Siddal set the template for a scrappy afternoon, conceding the first of their 10 penalties in the first set. From the resulting possession Hornets moved the ball around, Stu Biscomb straightening-up to punch through and score. While Siddal stood under their crossbar contemplating the fact Newcastle probably don’t provide a true benchmark for League 1 football, Crooky knocked over the two.

For ten minutes , Siddal strove to find new and interesting ways to goad penalties out of a particularly picky referee: lying on taken straight from the WWE handbook; a high shot on Danny Yates…

On 13 minutes Siddal exploited a penalty - working the ball wide where Bakosa found space to score by the flag. Multiple orgasms all-round for the visiting fans.

Hornets response was swift and direct. Jo Taira punched a huge hole through his opposite number, James Tilley hard and straight to score; Crooky the extras: 12-4

But Tilley went from hero to villain in the space of three minutes: conceding a penalty in possession for walking off the mark; Siddal gratefully accepting the free 50 metres; Garratt arriving at pace to score a well-taken try. Brooke the two. Visiting fans a sodden mess at 12-10.

There was really only one thing for Hornets to do: step up the pace, take the game by the scruff and get into the sheds with the tie already in the bag. On 25 minutes James Tilley went crashing onto a short ball to score; then a big diagonal run by Chris Riley on the half hour mark created space for Dale Bloomfield to outpace the cover and score. On 37 minutes Matt Hadden hit a short ball at pace to score after a great Corey Lee break. And on virtually the last play of the half Alex McClurg mugged the tiring visitors from acting half. Four tries in 12 minutes giving Hornets a 32-10 lead at the break.

With the game gone, Siddal played some tidy football in the third quarter. A big kick in the 43rd minute saw Corey Lee bundled into touch on his own 20m line; Siddal moving the ball to Boults who reached through to score: 32-14. And Siddal struck again  just three minutes later: this time Boothroyd outjumping a stretched defence off a Brooke kick. Brooke added the two and, at 32-20 all the momentum with the visitors.

The fourth quarter was a different tale as Hornets found an extra gear to end Siddal’s resistance. On the hour mark Samir Tahraoui bullied his way over to score - to the delight of the visiting fans who booed him all afternoon for having the temerity to play round an ongoing niggling campaign.

On 66 minutes, a moment of comedy gold as Siddal’s Brooke hoofed a clearing kick into the back of  his own player’s head: accidental offside. Ben Moores ruthless from acting half: 42-20.

On 70 minutes, the try of the game. Samir Tahraoui’s huge midfield break, Ben Moores in support, Corey Lee on the outside ball to leave the cover in his wake. This time Danny Yates the two and Hornets home and hosed at 48-20.

With the game ebbing away, James Tilley had what looked like a perfectly good try struck off for a forward pass. Ah well…

From Hornets’ point of view, it was a perfunctory win against a well-organised amateur outfit that came to play and gave an excellent account of themselves.  Indeed, you’d imagine that Siddal coach Gareth Greenwood would be praising his side’s efforts… er, no.

In quite the most churlish, bitter, ungracious way possible he was bleating to the Haliax Courier post match about just how unfair it all is that professional teams have access to professional coaching and facilities while amateur teams are - well - just a bit amateurish sometimes.

Speaking in the Halifax Courier he clearly wasn’t a happy chap: “I don’t feel that happy… we’ve conceded 48 points against a pretty average team, so I’m not happy.”

“The first half was penalty, then try, penalty, try and it just went on like that.” Given that that’s how Siddal acquired their first two tries, we couldn’t agree more…

“I didn’t think they were any better either, they just got more penalties; we got a couple and scored two tries.” The penalty count was 10-7 - maybe he needs to look at his side’s discipline…

“In the end, it looked like what it was; a team that’s probably done 100 gym sessions since November and trained together 100 more times against an amateur team.” Yep - that’s the level of commitment expected of semi-pro players...

“If people saw the amateurish things that we try to patch up on match days; you put a video session on and nine of them turn up, your centre tells you he’s playing for his rugby union club and you have to pull someone in from the second team. We couldn’t quite patch all those things up enough and it told on us in the end.” Yep - that’s why amateur teams are amateurs…

“The second half was better, but I don’t think they’re a good team.” True - we’re as good as we can be with the resources and personnel we have. North Queensland Cowboys - now, they ARE a good team. They’d probably beat Siddal too.

“Every time we got near their line it looked like they were going to capitulate and if they end up playing a team like Halifax in the next round then I’m sure they will.” That’ll probably be because Halifax are at the top of the division above. Much like Hornets are in effect in the division above Siddall. If we lose in the next round, we'll be sure to have a good cry.

Ultimately, the big differentiator in professionalism is attitude - and a key part of that is learning to win and lose with grace. Greenwood’s bitter rant demeans his side’s exceptional effort - and that, in itself, is the most unprofessional thing of all.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Sunday's Coming: Siddal

Sunday sees Siddal continue their Challenge Cup odyssey at Spotland: and they’re not to be taken lightly. Siddal are amonst the best community clubs in the country: finishing last season as runners-up in the NCL Premier division - one place above Mayfield - and were Conference Grand Finalists, edged out 22-20 by Leigh MIners Rangers.

You can see highlights of that game below

If you’re a Rugby League fan from the North East, you’ve probably had your fill of Siddall this season. Having survived an 18-16 scare to see off Northumbria University, the Halifax side unceremonially dumped Newcastle ‘Blunder’ out of the Challenge cup in the last round, thrashing them 30 to 4. Indeed, but for a late, late consolation try, Thunder came perilously close to the total humiliation of a nilling.

“It was a pretty special performance,” said Siddal coach Gareth Greenwood, whose brother Lee - now coach of  University of Gloucestershire All Golds - was in charge when Siddal won 26-0 away to Doncaster six years ago.

Having played for Huddersfield Giants, Batley Bulldogs and Halifax (where he became the 1,000th player to debut in Super League), Greenwood is a busy bloke these days - with a life consumed, it seems, by Rugby League. In addition to his Siddal coaching duties, he’s also coach at Halifax Elite Academy and the RFL’s National Secondary Schools Manager.

Oh shit! Byron Smith follows through.
Ex-Hornet Byron Smith weighed in with two tries in the win over Newcastle and was labelled “a bit
of an animal” by his coach after the game. Staying with things bestial, he’s remembered at Spotland more for what he did off the field: on his last visit with Batley, Smith took at shit in a litter bin in the Sandy Lane end when caught short during the game.

Confidence is clearly high at Chevinedge, as Siddall come into Sunday’s game having opened their conference season with a 20-10 win at Kells -  who’d not lost at home in the league for three seasons.

Hornets’ most high-profile link with Siddal was through mercurial Hooker Mick Shaw, who tragically passed away four years ago at just 36 years old. Amongst a solid pro-career taking in Leeds, Bramley and Halifax, MIck had an influential two-season spell at Hornets where his punishing speed away from acting half made him a fans’ favourite. He ended his career back at Siddal, where he had a successful spell as first team player-coach and took the club’s second team to Halifax & District’s ’Fee Cup’ final.

Siddall’s ex-Halifax , Keighley and Oldham forward Richard Merville also had a stint at Hornets in 2011.

So what can Hornets expect? Speaking ahead of their game with Siddal last season, Leigh Miners Rangers Head Coaches – Allan Coleman & Paul Whitworth said: “Gareth Greenwood likes his sides to play good rugby, they find the floor well and can control the pace of the match if you play the one-up game. They play with real controlled aggression as well. Speaking to opposition coaches they have all highlighted Siddal as being the best team they have played this season…” Some good insight there.

The Siddall side that won at Kells Last week was:
1. Fred Walker  2. Elliott Jewitt  3. Tom Garratt  4. Benjamin Hinsley  5. Dominic Booth  6. Shaun Garrod  7. Christopher Brooke  8. George Ambler  9. Craig Sanderson  10. Iain Davies  11. Jason Boults   12. Canaan Smithies   13. Byron Smith   14. Benjamin West  15. Conner MacCallum  16. Jack Georgiou  17. Danny Richardson

Our three to watch are:
Siddal skipper Shaun Garrod (stand- off): England Community Lions captain and has steered Siddal round for eight years after returning from Halifax.
Chris Brooke (scrum half) Garrod’s regular partner in the halves for the last five years, Brooke can also play at fullback if required. Supplies Siddal’s kicking game.
Jason Boults (Second Row) Hardworking backrower familiar to Hornets fans - he was formerly the backbone of Oldham’s pack, playing 193 games over eight years for the Roughyeds.

With the dregs of Super League coming into the Challenge cup in the next round, there's still the chance of a decent payday against Leeds, Hull KR and Huddersfield who currently languish in the bottom four. So there's no place for complacency. Newcastle found out what happens if you don't take games with top quality community clubs seriously - and we don't want to be the story in Monday's papers.

Alan Kilshaw's Hornets were good value for their thrashing of Coventry and a performance echoing the first half there will be required if we're to avoid the banana-skin. Up for the cup? Too right we are - see you Sunday.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Hornets Bang Bears in the Butts

Coventry 16 - Hornets 58

The sun shines out of Coventry's Butts Park Stadium

In his programme notes, Coventry coach Tom Tsang stated that it was his intention for the Bears to ‘get in the arm wrestle’ at the Butts Park Stadium. He might as well have dispensed with the word ‘arm’ as, having seen his side handed a first-half lesson in high-tempo, direct football, the home side emerged after the break to grapple, wrangle and wring every last drop of momentum out of a game that had been a fast-receding dot from the outset.

Hornets dominated from the moment in the second minute when Paul Crook gathered a dink kick only to have his effort struck off: Hornets bizzarely brought back to feed a scrum. No matter - just 90 seconds later fast hands to the right edge off a repeat set found Chris Riley with just enough room to squeeze in by the flag.

They were in again after 8 minutes when Ben Moores gathered his charge-down to gallop 60 metres - play moved wide for Jo Taira to open his Hornets account with a blockbusting try.

On 13 minutes Hornets turned the screw: a quick, direct set had Coventry back-pedalling as Danny Yates jinked through flapping tackles to score. Crooky with his first of the day. Hornets ahead of the clock at 0-14.

Straight from the kick-off Hornets were on the attack: a big drive from Samir Tahraoui, Corey Lee backing himself up the touchline, just scooped out of play by Hunte.

As the sceond quarter ticked over, Hornets produced some fantastic fluid football to effectively end the game as a contest.

On 23 minutes a skittering Crooky break, the Ginger General drawing the last defender to send Jordan Case in for a try. On 26 minutes Chris Riley stepping through traffic to slip Danny Yates under the black dot. 29 minutes, Jo Taira hitting a Crooky flat-ball like a train. Unstoppable. Crooky three from three and Hornets out-of sight at 0-32.

During this whirlwind six minutes, Coventry subbed prop Jack Morrison - asked how it was, he replied ‘Too Fast’. Indeed, this was a key issue. For large tracts of this game Coventry looked woefully out of their depth - and when Stu Biscomb hit Ben Warrilow with an absolute bell-ringer of a tackle on 38 minutes, it took 15 minutes of concerned medical attention to remove him from the field.

Referee Mr Smith put the ‘incident’ on report - alledgedly for tipping Warrilow beyond the vertical, but while Biscomb hit the lad with everything, it didn’t look like foul play to us.

Mr Smith went on to puzzle onlookers when - with the ball dead - he allowed Coventry to feed a scrum after the hooter. Half time 0-32.

Having spent 40 minutes effectively playing the role of cones around which Hornets worked their way through the playbook, Coventry visibly lifted their effort in the second half - starting with a good kick-chase and forcing an early drop-out after first Chris Riley, then Wayne English couldn’t find an escape route from the in-goal.

Hornets’ response was swift and clinical. Having ridden-out the Bears’ pressure, they marched straight up the other end where Jo Taira bagged his hat-trick, wrestling free from a poor tackle to score on a last tackle sneak up the blind-side. 0-36.

There was then another long delay, this time for an injury to Hornets replacement prop Jack Francis. Carried from the field, his iced knee and crutches didn’t look good.

Hornets shuffled the pack a bit and, on 49 minutes Jordan Case hit a flat-pass from Alex McClurg to ease Hornets past the 40-mark. This was Coventry’s cue to step-up their attempts to break-up the game as much as possible.

Needled in the tackle, Corey Lee responded to concede a daft penalty and - after yet another lengthy delay for an injury to Alex McClurg - Coventry took advantage of a reorganising Hornets defence. Medforth slumping in from a metre on a ripple of apathy from the home fans.

Hornets responded positively: two monster drives from Woz Thompson and Samir Taharoui had the Bears in all kinds of touble, and the ball was shuttled left to Chris Riley who blasted through some ordinary tackling to grab his second of the day. Crooky slotted the extras: 4-46.

As Coventry continued to scrap and scramble their way forward, they got a lucky break on 66 minutes - a wayward ball hitting the deck, Reid gifted a freak try via a wrong-footed defence. White the two and, somehow, Coventry in double figures at 10-46. Again, Hornets’ reaction was immediate.

A Wayne English kick-return stretched the home defence and when Corey Lee took a pass with 60 metres to run, he duly obliged, leaving defenders in his wake. Crooky sublimely off the touchline and Hornets cruising past the half-century at 10-52.

To Coventry’s credit, they kept plugging away and when Hughes mugged Hornets from acting half in the 77th minute, it gave the game a veneer of a contest at 16-52 (White the extras).

But Hornets finished on a high: regathering a short kick-off, a direct approach-set and Wayne English taking a tidy James Dandy pass to score in style right on the hooter. Crooky adding the two and Hornets comfortable winners at 16-58.

Certainly, for 40 minutes Hornets looked slick and assured - but once Coventry created their black-hole of anti-football (aided by an increasingly picky referee), it sucked the energy from the game.

In the wash-up, this was a ruthlessly one-sided contest. Having bombed at least three other opportunities - and with Paul Crook having, by his standards, an ordinary afternoon with the boot (7 from 11 attempts) - Hornets could have won far more convincingly, but it’d be churlish to complain when we score eleven tries away from home.

Whilst there were plently of contenders for Man of the Match, we can’t really see past Jo Taira - a clattering hat-trick in only his second game hints at great things to come.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Sunday's Coming: Coventry Bears

While Hornets were busy seeing off Hunslet last weekend,  Poor Coventry Bears were getting handed their arse in Toulouse courtesy of the sort of defending that will have had coach Tom Tsang waking up in a cold sweat.

Having given a decent account of themselves in the recent pre-season game at Spotland - and having nailed 28 points on League 1 pretenders Keighley in a Challenge Cup defeat at Cougar Park (final score 54-28) - the trip across the channel revealed Coventry’s issues defending high-tempo, direct football - check-out the video below.

Before the game in Toulouse, Tsang said: “I am confident we can score a lot of points against any side in the League, we just need to up our efforts and smarts in defence…” Having shipped 4 tries in a whirlwind first quarter, the Bears found themselves 36-6 down at the break.

Tsang said afterwards: “(we) didn’t do ourselves justice. We were too weak in the first half and allowed them too much time… the second half was better.” Only if you view conceding three more tries and being nilled as an improvement. Still, it’s a long way to September…

Dale Fail:  We put League Weekly right
Closer to home it’s been a misnomered week for Hornets in the ‘League Weekly’ - who referred to us in headlines as ‘Dale’ twice in Monday’s issue. We suspected a sub-editor that knows nowt about Rugby League.

So we dropped them the following note:

“Dear League Weekly,  Just a quick note in relation to your two mentions of Rochdale Hornets in the Monday 7th March issue. In two headlines (‘Dale honour for Myler’ and ‘Philbin shines for impressive Dale’), you refer to us as ‘Dale’ which - as any Northern sports fan will tell you - is the long-established nickname of our groundshare partners Rochdale AFC.”

“Having watched Hornets for over 40 years, I’ve never in that time heard anyone within Rugby League refer to us as ‘Dale’.  Having one of the game’s most recogniseable suffixes, it seems a shame not to use it. “

To their credit, League Weekly did respond - and, it seems, we were right: “Yes, I'm afraid we have a new sub-editor who is clearly unaware of this fact. I suspect Hornets was too long a word... but he will be told!”

Glad to have cleared that up.

And so - in a week that saw huge swaths of the Midlands disappear under rising floodwater - we gird up our loins for the trip down the M6. Games like this will form the backbone of our season, so let’s get down there and cheer the boys home. For your satnav, the postcode for the Butts Park Arena is CV1 3GE. See you there.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Hornets off to a Flyer

Hornets 28 - Hunslet 18

If half time in tight games is where good coaches really earn their money, Alan Kilshaw passed his first stern test with flying colours. Trailing 14-10 after a scrappy,  disjointed half peppered with pernickety penalties - and in which Hornets looked uncomfortable in accommodating three DRs from Warrington - Killers side emerged after the break to sweep Hunslet aside in a 20 minute spell of pace, power and inventive football.

But the game started in pretty lousy fashion. The usually robust Samir Tahraoui fumbled the ball first set and Hunslet shipped the ball wide for Barnett to score by the flag after just two minutes. This prompted the Hunslet supporters to sing that they’re ‘going to winthe league. Ah - premature elation. 0-4.

As referee Mr Merrick picked his way through the laws with obsessive detail, Hornets took advantage of a couple of back-to-back pemalties - a wide ball to Joe Philbin who blasted straight through Ansell  - hiding out in  the centres - to score. 4-all.

Off a repeat set, Hornets gpt over the line again after 18 minutes - Woz Thompson of a flat Danny Yates pass - only for Mr Merrick to defy the laws of parallax and call if forward.

It ws then Hunslet;’s turn to build some pressure. Two repeat sets turned the screw, but Hornets’ defence held firm. On 24 minutes the otherwise eagle-eyed Mr Merrick was conned when Hunslet released the ball in the ruck. Assuming it’d been raked he gave Hunslet a penalty, the set brought to a premature end by a pass so far forward it’s probably still falling from the sky in an alternative dimension.

Hornets continued to press - this time Philbin bustling up the left channel - but forcing a non-pass in heavy traffic to give Hunslet the feed at the scrum. Again Mr Merrick was somewhat over-fastidious in policing the tackle, A retreating Hornets mugged from acting half by Flanagan. Brown his only goal of the day: 4-10.

On 32 minutes, Hornets forced an error - Alex McClurg spooking Agoro who coughed the ball at the feet of Joe Philbin, who kept cool, dinked the ball into the in-goal and followed up to touch down. Crooky the extras and all locked up at 10-all.

Seemingly running out of laws to apply pedantically, Hornets were snagged for a borderline offside and given a team warning - Mr Merrick happy to try a new signal, it seemed. From the resulting posession Brown launched a hail-mary of a kick into the corner, where Agoro caught Corey Lee wrong-footed to score. Brown then hoyed the ball into the Pearl Street end like a fan trying to win fifty-quid and Hornets went in at the hooter 10-14 down.

The second half started much as the first had ended: the ball blatantly raked from Corey Lee’s grasp three feet from a touch judge, but play-on waved. Then Jordan Case sin-binned for a high tackle, that looked from our vantage point like he’d grabbed the Hunslet player by the collar. No matter. Hornets response? Up the tempo, get to the edges and play some football.

On 45 minutes Danny Yates’ teasing kick into the in-goal just too strong for the chasing duo of Chris Riley and Joe Taira. Then, on 49 minutes, Corey Lee’s blistering break up the far side; tracked by Duckworth and Agoro, he floated an inch perfect kick infield where the mercurial Wayne English punced to gather and score. Crooky the two: 16-14.

Now chasing the game, Hunslet delved into their bag of referee con-tricks, which delivered a moment of comedy gold on the 52 minute mark. On the last tackle, a Hornets body was left lying in the ruck, Hunslet’s Lee deliberately passed the ball into the prone Hornets player to try and win a penalty - but he passed the ball in a forward direction, Mr Merrick blew for a forward pass: handover. Genius.

As the hour mark ticked up, Hornets finally ripped the game from Hunslet’s graps with a try that brought the house down. Big Samir Tahraoui hit a peach of a ball like an Exocet just inside the Hunslet half and hit the gas, leaving a trail of flapping defenders in his wake. With Hornets support queuing up on his shoulder, he backed himself to score, dumying the cover as he approached the line, he pretty much went back to make a mug out of Hawks full-back Watson and score under the black dot. Stunning stuff. Crooky buried the extras and, at 22-14, Hunslet’s body language basically told you that they were gone.

Three minutes later Hornets put the game to bed. A solid approach set took play close to the Hunslet line, and when Yatesey’s ‘bouncing bomb’ of a pass was snaffled by Stu Biscombe, there was no stopping him as he skittled defenders to force his way over the line. Crooky showing how it’s done: 28-14.

Hunslet did rally briefly: a high kick sucking-in defenders and a neat cut-out ball for Barnett to score out wide (Brown spectacularly awry with the kick); 28-18.

The last ten minutes provided a platform for Hornets latest Fijian addition Joe Taira to show some exciting potential: on 70 minutes his crunching tackle on his opposite number knocked the ball loose, but as he gathered and touched down, the effort was struck-off for a knock-on. The, when Hunslet launched Mvududu up the left hand side, Taira tracked back and hit him with the kitchen sink to bundle him into row E. Lovely.

In the end, this was a good win. Hunslet are supposedly amongst the favourites to win this competition, so the benchmark is set. In other good news, the attendance of 610 was the second biggest in League 1 this weekend, the biggest in the comp. on British soil, only 40 fewer than at Championship leaders Batley - and more than Whitehaven had against Swinton, also in the Championship.

As opening weekends go, this was a pretty good start. Let’s kick on.

Thursday, 3 March 2016


Having lost 24-4 at home to York in the iPro Cup, Hunslet bounced back in style last week with an old-style 46-12 flogging of a hapless Barrow side that’s now out of both cups before a ball’s been dropped in anger.

Of the two results thus far, we’re more surprised by the defeat to York than the battering of the Raiders - as when we took a look at Hunslet in their final pre-season hit-out at Keighley they looked significantly more like the finished article than a flapping, foundering Cougars.

Indeed, on the coldest Sunday of the winter, we trekked over to Cougar Park on a bit of a spying mission - and these are our observations.

- Pretty much everything goes through lynchpin stand-off Simon Brown - he’s also their in-play kicker. Oh - and he kicked 7 from 8 conversion attempts last week.
- Hunslet’s forwards love an offload: always looking for some second-phase. Particularly catching our eye was Number 10, prop Lewis Read, who they ran third-man/second pass away from the ruck where he made plenty of yards.
- Scrum Half Danny Ansell is used as an option on in-play kicking, to less effect than Brown. Busy on attack, but defends very wide in the left-hand centre channel - where Keighley’s right centre scored a hat-trick. Ansell scored twice against Barrow last week: his second off a return pass from second row Ben Crane.
- Combative hooker Jack Lee has a bit of a short-fuse.
- Winger Richie Barnett poses a threat when they kick high to his wing - one to keep an eye on.

Also worth keeping an eye on are three quarters ex-Roughyed Mo Agoro and Ex-Fev Rovers centre Mufado Mvududu, who set up Barnett’s brace last Sunday.  Hunslet have also taken Dewsbury Rams’ prop forward Zach Johnson on a month’s loan

Having had a look at Hunslet’s battering of Barrow, they were as effective as the Raiders were awful. You can see the highlights of that game here

Speaking in the Yorkshire Evening Post after last weekend’s win, Hawks Coach Matt Bramald is in confident mood: “That may be as well as we can play, but if it is I think it will be enough to take care of most teams in our division,” he said. “If we can reproduce that and add some bits on top, we will go well.”

Bramald has a couple of injury concerns following the the Barrow game: Michael Haley suffered a facial injury in a clash of heads and Jimmy Watson was removed as a precaution with bruised ribs. He’ll also be missing  loose-forward Liam Mackay for at least four weeks with a shoulder injury picked up in the iPro Sport Cup defeat by York.

Early season injuries are also the bane of Alan Kilshaw’s preparation for a new season. With Lewis Galbraith nursing a broken hand and Dave Cookson having broken a collarbone, the threequarter line will get a bit of a shuffle for the first few weeks of the season.

Injuries apart, Hornets have had as good a pre-season as we can remember: a full programme of friendlies and safe passage in both cup competitions via a hard-won squelch-fest at Barrow and a perfunctory dismissal of Mayfield last week. But this weekend is where the real business starts: the 2016 season on the launch-pad at last.

Now’s the time for Hornets #nextgeneration to show the rugby league world what it's capable of.
Now is the time… let’s have it.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016


Batley v Whitehaven
Hunslet v Doncaster
Sheffield v Swinton
Featherstone Lions v Lock Lane
Oldham v Kells
Hornets v Siddal
Pilkington Recs v Halifax
Dewsbury v Bradford
Leigh v Workington
York v Keighley
London v Featherstone Rovers
Toulouse v All Golds