Back-to-back defeats force Hunslet coach Gary Thornton into rethink

HUNSLET COACH Gary Thornton wants his players to “man up” after back-to-back defeats.

By Peter Smith
Monday, 6th May 2019, 3:00 pm
Hunslet's Tom Ashton tackled by Workington's Sean Penkywiecz  and Tom Curwen during the 1895 Cup clash on Saturday.
Hunslet's Tom Ashton tackled by Workington's Sean Penkywiecz and Tom Curwen during the 1895 Cup clash on Saturday.

A shock home loss to London Skolars was followed by last Saturday’s 31-28 reverse against Workington Town in the 1895 Cup, also at South Leeds Stadium.

Of what has changed since Hunslet’s impressive run which took them into top spot in Betfred League One, Thornton said: “That’s the question I’ll be asking the players. I think a lot of it is down to individual errors and not reacting well to negative situations. We have got to react more positively to things that go against us and cut out the individual errors.”

Hunslet's Vila Halafihi and Mike Emmett tackle Workington's Izaac Farrell.

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He added: “I think one or two on Saturday were trying to force the issue a bit and put things right from the week before. We forced some plays we didn’t need to and handed the ball over to Workington far too easily. It is time for the players to take a bit of accountability. They are not going to win by sulking, they have got to man up a bit, take it on the chin and move on.”

Thornton insisted the Cup performance wasn’t all bad.

“It wasn’t great, but there were bits of good stuff,” he said. “We scored some decent tries, but some individual errors cost us and gave them some soft tries. It was a slight improvement from the Skolars game, but there’s a lot of work to do.”

Hunslet have no game this weekend and then return to league action away against Workington. Thornton said: “It gives us an extra week or so to prepare and to get a couple of injuries back so it’s good. It won’t be an easy week, we have got to be prepared to work hard, but Josh Tonks and Adam Robinson were missing [last weekend] and we certainly missed them.

Hunslet try scorer Tom Ashton is tackled by the Workington defence.

“We had a couple – Mickey Haley and Danny Nicklas – who were working away and couldn’t train so they weren’t available. It gave opportunities to people to come in and some of them did all right.”

Thornton confirmed he will also be looking at the loan market and talking to dual-registration partner club Halifax. Ben Heaton (hand) was Hunslet’s only injury concern from Saturday’s game.