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Pora's team Whitehavens goes down to Hunslet

Rodney Pora photo

Rodney Pora, left, and team-mate Paul Jackson: Image credit: News & Star
Five Rhinos’ featured, with three, hooker Liam Hood, second-row Mitch Achurch and centre Jimmy Keinhorst having a massive say against out-gunned Haven.

The visitors were without two of their key men, Jamie Rooney, who was ill, and the injured Scott McAvoy, but even if they had featured, it’s hard to imagine a different outcome, as Haven were once again second-best up front, after a tight first quarter.

New prop Rodney Pora started the game and while he did not look out of place is not yet match-sharp.

With James Newton left out, Rhys Clarke went to hooker for Haven, though it was Hunslet’s No 9 Hood who made the first chance when held up over the try-line following a lunge from dummy-half.

Haven went the full length of the field on the next set, Craig Calvert tagging a defender behind his line off Neil Thorman’s superb kick.

Shane Ackerley was doing a decent job early on at the back, though when beaten, Jessie Joe Parker was on hand to mop up as another Leeds prospect Jimmy Watson, headed for the whitewash.

When Hunslet lost the ball in a tackle on half-way on 20 minutes, Haven seemed poised for an attacking set in opposition territory.

But a touch judge had seen a Haven hand in the tackle and the decision was reversed. The hosts made the most of the possession, winger Tom Bush collecting a ricochet off the unlucky Parker to cross.

Useful scrum-half Luke Helliwell added the extras and was again on target nine minutes later as the hosts doubled their lead.

The chance came after winger James Cameron’s rash pass out of a tackle was intercepted.

Helliwell produced a lovely kick in-goal for Bush to claim his second score.

Haven looked sure to hit back when Parker used his pace and footwork to break through, but his pass to Calvert with the try-line begging was palmed down by a defender and the chance was lost.

The killer blow came seconds before half-time, Achurch, the former Aussie NRL ace who signed a four-year deal with the Rhinos ahead of the new season, cutting loose down the right and Kleinhorst finishing off. Helliwell’s conversion from out wide increased the lead.

Haven had at least been competitive in the first-half, which is more than could be said for their performance after the break.

Sub Paul Hughes barged through three defenders to cross on 46 minutes, and with Haven posing no threat down the middle, Achurch and Hood combined again on 62 minutes, the 18-stone Aussie ploughing through to put the outcome beyond doubt.

Haven enjoyed a brief spell when they at least looked dangerous, Cain Southernwood chipping the defence and Lee Paterson looking for a good bounce with plenty of space ahead. But the luck went in Hunslet’s favour and the ball bounced straight in to a defender’s hands.

Skipper Lee Doran, who never lacked effort, then raced on to Paterson’s pass and charged through the line, only to be pulled back for a forward pass.

Haven threatened again on 72 minutes, only to see Cameron’s long dummy-half pass intercepted. And less than a minute later, Keinhorst, who featured for Leeds in last season’s Challenge Cup final, was in again.

Haven’s sole dual-registered player, St Helens’ promising Tommy Makinson, was tidy in defence.

His chances in attack were severely limited however until the closing seconds when he produced a flick pass for Cameron, who, in a tight space, brushed the whitewash as he headed for the line.

Hunslet would keep Haven scoreless.

Quite a day for the Hawks, and not a bad one for some young Rhinos, either.

Whitehaven: Ackerley, Cameron, Makinson, Parker, Calvert, Thorman, Southernwood, Jackson, Clarke, Pora, Paterson, Palmer, Doran. Subs: Sice, Houghton, Barker, Martins.

Hunslet: Watson, Bush, Kleinhorst, Welham, Brickwood, Grimshaw, Helliwell, Menzies, Hood, Singleton, Achurch, Haughey, Houston. Subs: Hughes, Oakes, Yates, Kain.

Tries: Bush 2, Keinhorst 2, Hughes, Achurch; Goals: Helliwell 3

Referee: Ronnie Laughton

Attendance: 375

News & Star

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