BARRY EATON believes Hunslet Hawks are good enough to stay in the Kingstone Press Championship and he sees tomorrow’s visit of Batley Bulldogs (3pm) as the ideal time for his players to prove it.
Hawks will be in competitive action at South Leeds Stadium for the first time since winning last year’s Championship One Grand Final and Eaton reckons home advantage could inspire them to go one better than Monday’s opening 28-14 defeat to Featherstone Rovers at Wakefield.
“It’s our first home game and we don’t want to disappoint,” Eaton said. “We want to put in another good performance and hopefully do enough to get the win this time.
“We are looking to improve from Monday on a consistent basis and if we get some consistent performances together, hopefully we will pick up some wins.
“We have to turn performances into wins to stay in this division, but the priority is to back up the performance from Monday.”
Eaton watched Bulldogs in action in their round one win over Workington and he added: “You can’t always read too much into pre-season, but they had a big win over Featherstone and it was a very comfortable win last weekend. We are expecting a really tough game.”
Batley coach John Kear was at Monday’s match and what he saw convinced him his side will need to be on top of their game tomorrow.
“I thought Hunslet were really good,” he said. “I thought they played very well, they played some really expansive stuff and they have got a far superior team to when they won Championship One.
“They have got a good pair of half-backs, a good hooker and George Flanagan still to come in. They had Danny Grimshaw on the bench and he’s a very good player so that indicates the strength of their team – and we know they will have targeted this game.”
Kear was pleased with the way Batley began their season, but he stressed: said: “We have got to put that to bed, forget about Workington and concentrate on Hunslet. That’s how you have to live when you are in such a tough, intense competition.”
Neither team has any major new injuries and Eaton hopes new signing Flanagan could be available for his debut after recovering from a broken leg.
Meanwhile, Dewsbury Rams, who last night signed former – Salford, Halifax and London Broncos second-rower Luke Adamson – will be looking for an improved performance tomorrow when his side bid to make it two wins from two away to Workington (3pm).
Rams beat Sheffield Eagles in round one, but coach Glenn Morrison said: “It was a good win, but I don’t think we played that well. We’ve got some improvement in us, which we need to do. It is going to be tough because it’s always hard travelling up there.”
“I didn’t think they played that well against Batley and I’m sure they are going to try and hit back, but we need to keep picking up points to finish where we want to be at the end of the year.”