RUGBY LEAGUE - Hurricanes fall just short in comeback effort against Oldham - The Solihull Observer

RUGBY LEAGUE - Hurricanes fall just short in comeback effort against Oldham

Solihull Editorial 9th Aug, 2022   0

HURRICANES head coach Rich Squires was left to rue a poor start from his side after a remarkable final quarter almost saw them pull off an unbelievable comeback at Portway.

With an hour gone, two tries a piece from Owen Restall and Connor Carr, plus additional scores from Sean Slater, Kian Morgan, and Dave Hewitt – as well as a Martyn Ridyard field goal – saw Oldham 39-0 ahead and cruising.

However, the Midlands club ran in six unanswered tries in a frantic final 20 minutes – two each for Tyler Hepple and Elliott Wallis with Phil Cowburn and Nathan Newbound also touching down – to fall one converted score short of victory.

Squires said: “You can’t just turn up after 60 minutes and expect to win a game. We didn’t show up, we were pretty flat when, coming off last weekend, it should have been the opposite. You can’t afford to do that.

“We’ve clearly got points in us – as the last 20 minutes showed. We only had seven sets in that first half, and then we didn’t complete. Everything went against us, but it was our fault and they were clinical.

“There are positives from that last quarter. If you score 36 points in a game you should be winning it. When we’re clinical, we score points – but they managed to do it for a longer time than us.”

Oldham scored the game’s first try after just five minutes with some neat handling down the left that saw Restall saunter in for his 16th try of 2022.

The visitors struck again just past the quarter-hour mark as Carr finished a fine move through the hands down the right edge before striking again soon after with Ridyard adding a drop goal before the first half was out.

Oldham scored back-to-back tries at the start of the second period as Slater and Morgan both crossed after Hewitt’s 40/20 kick gave them field position.

And Oldham touched down their sixth try through Restall after the Hurricanes failed to deal with a high kick before Hewitt grabbed a deserved try on the next set.

Hurricanes finally troubled the scoreboard on the hour mark when Hepple went over after a fine interception and rapid break by Kieron Lawton.

And the Midlands club soon had their second try when Willis caught a lofted pass and cruised in to score in successive matches.

Cowburn was next to score for Hurricanes when he received a stunning inside pass from Ben Stead after an attack down the left edge.

And Stead was at the heart of Hurricanes next try as he picked out Wallis to score from a host of supporting runners.

The home side’s momentum was halted by a late Ridyard penalty only for Hurricanes to score from the kick-off as they swiftly moved up the pitch before Newbound crashed over from close range.

As the hooter sounded, Hepple somehow scrambled over to cap off a crazy final quarter of the game but it proved too little, too late, with their play-off hopes ended.

The Hurricanes are next in action against Doncaster RLFC on Sunday, August 14 with kick-off at 3pm at Portway.

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