HUNSLET HAWKS are treating Sunday’s visit of Halifax as win or bust.
Going into the final round of the regular Co-op Championship season Hawks are in eighth spot, ahead of York City Knights on points difference.
With Dewsbury Rams already relegated, player-coach Paul March’s team need to match or better York’s result away to Sheffield Eagles to avoid the drop.
Even if they slip a place Hunslet could still stay up if Crusaders, who applied for a place in the competition yesterday, are not admitted into the Championship next year.
But there’s only one way to be sure and that is March’s all-out aim.
“We’re going out to win the game,” he said. “If we do that, what happens elsewhere makes no difference.
“Over the last six or seven weeks we have been performing, but results haven’t gone our way.
“Against Barrow (in Hawks’ previous game) it all came together – and we’ve got to do the same this week.
“We gave the players last week off, they are all buzzing and they can’t wait. It is in our hands and that’s the way we want it to be.”
Hunslet were promoted as Championship One winners last year and March stressed the importance of avoiding a quick return.
“It is like a cup final for us,” he stated.
“If we don’t stay up, we don’t know what the future will be.
“There’s a lot riding on it, but when the pressure is on that brings the best out of people.”
March will select from the players involved in the 42-12 win over Barrow two weeks ago, plus forward James Houston, pictured above.
Hunslet Hawks (v Halifax): from Ratcliffe, Barnett, Latus, Clayton, Pryce, Grimshaw, P march, Sullivan, Haigh, Kelly, Oakes, Haughey, McLocklan, Kain, Blakeway, Lowe, Yates, Houston.
Referee: Ron Laughton (Barnsley).
Kick-off: Sunday, 3pm.