Coventry Bears v Hunslet: Clash at Bears is a ‘must-win’ says Gary Thornton

Simon Brown.
Simon Brown.
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Coach Gary Thornton is confident Hunslet won’t be taken by surprise away to Coventry Bears tomorrow (3pm).

He has labelled the game a “must-win” as Hunslet bid to qualify for the Betfred League One play-offs, but their half-back Joe Sanderson – who is on loan at Coventry but not eligible to play tomorrow – has provided some inside information and Thornton has been keeping close tabs on the midlands outfit.

“It’s another tough one, a potential banana skin,” he warned.

“They had a good win down at London last week and they’ve beaten some good teams this year.

“I have asked Joe for a bit of advice on their gameplan and it looks fairly straightforward so we know what to expect.

“Hopefully we are prepared, but we are playing at Rugby Lions’ rugby union ground so that is an element of the unknown.”

Hunslet’s promotion hopes suffered a blow when they lost 26-12 at home to Newcastle Thunder last week.

“We’ve got to get back on track, we can’t afford any more slip-ups,” Thornton added.

Half-back Simon Brown is set to feature after joining Hunslet on loan from Dewsbury Rams. A Leeds Rhinos academy product, Brown has also played for Doncaster, York City Knights, Halifax, Batley Bulldogs and Sheffield Eagles.

“I’ve worked with him before, at York, so I know what we’ve got,” Thornton said. “He is an experienced player at Championship level and I think his kicking game will be a big benefit for us.”

Brown could replace Danny Nicklas who suffered an elbow injury last week.

Half-back/hooker Romain Pallares, a substitute against Newcastle, has left Hunslet at the end of his trial period and returned home to France.

Thornton said: “He came over and backed himself and he has left on good terms.”

Jack Lee is recovering well from an ankle injury, but his wife is due to give birth over the weekend and he is expected not to miss travel to Rugby.