Betfred League 1: Three is the run-in magic number for Hunslet boss

Coach, Gary Thornton. PIC: Hunslet RLFC
Coach, Gary Thornton. PIC: Hunslet RLFC
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COACH GARY Thornton has identified three objectives for Hunslet’s final two games of the regular Betfred League One season.

Fourth-placed Hunslet are at home to Workington Town tomorrow (3pm) and take on Oldham at South Leeds Stadium in eight days’ time.

Thornton said “It is about getting a home win, momentum and trying to finish as high as we possibly can.”

Last week’s dramatic 34-30 victory at London Skolars maintained the Parksiders’ good recent form.

“I think the key thing for us is momentum,” Thornton stated.

“We need to build some consistency, we are three [wins] on the bounce and it would be nice to go into the play-offs with five.

“I think we can still finish higher up the table and we have set our stall out to finish as high as we can.

“Also, we’ve lost too many at home this year and we don’t want to lose any more so there is plenty to play for.”

The league leaders, likely to be Whitehaven, will gain automatic promotion while the teams from second to sixth take part in play-offs to decide who joins them in the Championship next year.

The play-offs begin on the weekend of September 14/15 with the final on Sunday, October 6. The higher-ranked team has home advantage in each tie.

Workington are sixth and need one more win to be certain of qualifying for the play-offs.

Hunslet are two points behind second-place Oldham and one adrift of Newcastle Thunder so could yet go through as the top-ranked side.

“We lost at home to Workington in the 1895 Cup and up there in the league,” Thornton recalled.

“They were tough, tight games and we don’t want Workington to be our bogey team so we want to get a result.”

Thornton’s side will be without Jon-Luke Kirby who has been recalled by Huddersfield Giants.

Jack Lee is rated as 50-50 to play because of a hamstring injury and Adam Robinson and Zach Braham are both struggling with a dead leg.

Long-term casualty Aiden Hema has recovered from an ankle injury and Thornton said he will come into consideration this week.