Experience counts as Hawks retain Lazenby Cup

Hunslet Hawks 34 Leeds Rhinos 22 THE Hawks retained the Lazenby Cup as their more experienced side wore down a basically young Leeds outfit in the second half at South Leeds Stadium.

It was a good work-out for the Hawks, as well as an encouraging result, and another quality performance by centre Ian Brown again underlined coach Roy Sampson's firm belief that the ex-Sheffield man is capable of playing at a much higher level.

Brown scored two tries and always looked a threat with his penetrating running which promises much this time.

David Gibbons coolly organised things with his clever distribution and Jamaine Wray showed bags of enterprise and there was solid effort up front from Andy Shickell and Wayne Freeman.

Leeds went ahead when the Hawks lost possession and Jordan Tansey snapped up the ball and ran 50 yards for the try which Ashley Gibson goaled.

Hunslet soon settled and Gibbons sent out a fine pass which Brown took at pace to sweep over and Wray added the goal.

Brown was involved again with a good run and his inside pass enabled Danny Dixon to kick across field for Calvin Watson to score.

The Hawks had some tackling to do before good play by Gibbons and Mark Moxon enabled George Rayner to send Danny Cook over.

But Leeds cut the gap to 14-10 at half-time with a neat try by Michael Brown.

Chris Redfearn and Leeds's Jamie I'Anson were sin-binned after a flare-up but Hunslet struck again with a slick dummy by the alert Moxon to send Cook in for his second try which Wray goaled.

Leeds did not lie down and I'Anson marked his return from the 'bin' to send the experienced Nathan McAvoy over with Gibson adding the goal.

Hunslet then took a firm grip. Brown intercepted to race 40 yards and score, then a fine pass by Wray sent Dixon crashing through for the try, Wray added one of the goals. to make it 30-16 and virtually all over.

Leeds came again with a classy try by Gibson, which he also goaled but Hunslet had the last word when Craig Robinson's kick was fumbled and Redfearn grabbed the try to launch the South Leeds season in the right way.

Hunslet Hawks: Rayner; Watson, Naylor, I Brown, Dixon; D Gibbons, Moxon; Freeman, Wray, Williamson, Seal, A Shickell, Redfearn. Subs: Cass, Cartledge, M Shickell, Cook, Carbutt, Beever, Williams, Robinson.

Leeds Rhinos: Gibson; Endersby, Buttery, McAvoy, Fox; Gale, Tansey; Burgess, Watts, Tootill, Harte, Brook, Ablett. Subs: M Brown, I'Anson, Halliday, Faal,Ratu, Briggs, Barton.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington).

Attendance: 1,343.