Rugby League: Walters adds killer touch

Hull Sharks 12 Gateshead Thunder 40
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The Independent Online
THE SKILLS of Kerrod Walters led Gateshead to a victory last night that takes them level on points with their weekend victims, Wigan, in fourth place in Super League. The former Australian Test hooker, who has not re-established himself in the Thunder's starting line-up since his brief mid-season retirement, came on as a substitute to destroy Hull's chances of rising from the foot of the table.

Gateshead opened the brighter, their leading try-scorer, Matt Daylight, adding another to his tally when he latched on to a perfectly judged cross kick from Willie Peters for the game's first points. Paul Cooke responded with a penalty for Hull.

Good work by Brett Grogan and Brian Carney saw Craig Wilson go over from close range to keep the Thunder in control, but the second quarter belonged to a Hull side showing some belief in itself. Cooke's high kick saw Daylight's attempt to palm the ball to safety only succeed in knocking it down for Craig Poucher to pounce for a try, and smart handling from Cooke and another of Hull's bright young prospects, Richard Horne, led to Andrew Purcell going over, Cooke's conversion giving them a half-time lead.

There was a strong element of good fortune in the try that put Gateshead back in the lead six minutes into the second half.

After the Hull crowd had been convinced that Ben Sammut had knocked on at the start of the move, Smith made a nonsense of Walter's clever kick through and Tony Grimaldi dived in to score.

Another telling break by Walters saw Will Robinson make the killer run for Daylight to land his 18th try of the season. Sammut added both goals and Gateshead were cruising.

Walters, 31 years old but as full of running as ever, was there again to supply the scoring pass to Peters midway through the half as Gateshead pulled clear. Hull's heads were down in the closing stages as Craig Simon picked up a loose ball for another and David Maiden sprinted away for their seventh, both in the final minutes. Sammut finished with six goals.

Hull Sharks: Poucher; Baildon, Parker, Campbell, J Smith; Cooke, Horne; Harrison, Nolan, Craven, M Smith, Booth, Purcell. Substitutes used: Lee, Leatham, Ireland, Roberts.

Gateshead Thunder: Sammut; Carney, Grogan, Simon, Daylight; Robinson, Peters; Maher, Jenkins, Carvell, Wilson, Grimaldi, Bird. Substitutes used: Walters, Maiden, S Allwood.

Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).