Hunslet RLFC v Leeds Rhinos: Coyle happy with way Hunslet are shaping up

James Coyle.

James Coyle.

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TOMORROW’S VISIT of Leeds Rhinos is another step on the learning curve for new-look Hunslet.

James Coyle’s first game as coach, six days ago, ended in a 52-6 loss at Featherstone Rovers.

But Coyle stressed: “Featherstone are a good team, they proved that with the way they played in the Championship last year. Their younger players are more experienced and they’ve added some quality, so it was always going to be a tough game.

“They will do that to people in the Championship this year, so you can’t read too much into that result.

“Saying that, we are better than we showed. There’s a lot of improvement in us and improvement that won’t take a lot to happen.

“It’s about making good choices and recognising what’s happening in front of you and movement off the ball is a big thing for us.

“They are not big things to fix up and we will do that over the next few weeks.”

Rhinos will field a mixture of fringe players and academy prospects and Coyle expects another big challenge.

“It is going to be a tough ask for us to match that calibre of player,” he said.

“But it’s all positive, it gives us someone to run against in a game situation and also lets us get used to preparing for a game and what the week and the day is like so we can iron out any glitches for the games that matter.”

Coyle is keen to see all his players in action before their first competitive fixture, at home to Newcastle Thunder in the League One Cup, on February 19. Michael Haley, Jack Lee, Gavin Duffy, Marcus Webb and Mufaro Mvududu are all in tomorrow’s squad after sitting out last week’s match and Coyle said: “We’ve got a big squad so it’s hard to get a look at everyone.

“There’s 30 players and you can only get 13 on the field at one time. We needed an extra game [against Hunslet Club Parkside on January 29] to give people enough time to see where they are and show what they can do leading into the competitive games.”

National Conference outfit Parkside are in action tomorrow in a home practice match against Hunslet’s League One rivals Oxford (11.30am).

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