Coach Gary Thornton confident Hunslet will get back into League 1 mix as full-back Jimmy Watson nears playing comeback

Coach Gary Thornton has called for calm and insisted Hunslet will recover from a disappointing start in Betfred League One.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 6:59 pm
Hunslet coach Gary Thornton. Picture by Tony Johnstone.

Last Sunday’s 40-0 defeat at Keighley Cougars - who scored all their points in the second half - was Hunslet’s third loss in four games and they are second from bottom in the table.

Injuries and a disrupted pre-season have taken their toll, but Thornton stressed: “It’s important we stay calm.”

He pledged: “We’ll certainly ride this particular storm - we’ve shown we are more than capable of that by being level with other promotion-chasing sides until the closing stages of games.

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“Once we’ve achieved full fitness we’ll be on a level playing field with our rivals, who are taking points off each other anyway.

“The fact this is such a competitive division means we can quickly force our way back into the mix.”

Thornton believes the Parksidersa will “reach full match fitness as we play more games”.

He added: “The loan men we are bringing in have had little rugby of late and are naturally struggling in the closing stages of games, in addition to having to operate in a new environment. Our entire right side at Keighley was made up of loan players.”

Full-back Jimmy Watson is in contention to make his first appearance of the season in Sunday’s home game against Rochdale Hornets, after recovering from a knee injury.

Centre Will Cooke, who was hurt in a pre-season clash with Workington, could return in around two weeks’ time and Thornton revealed: “Will actually broke his leg.

“It’s a hairline fracture, which isn’t good, but is potentially better than ligament damage, which is what was originally diagnosed.”

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