Gary Thornton says Hunslet must be ready to hit the ground running

BOSS GARY Thornton was disappointed but not concerned by Hunslet’s late slump in their final pre-season game.

Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 4:30 am
Gary Thornton.

The Parksiders beat a second-string Bradford Bulls outfit 36-18 after leading 36-0 with 10 minutes remaining.

Despite conceding three late tries, the win completed an encouraging pre-season campaign by Hunslet, who lost to Batley Bulldogs and Halifax in the Yorkshire Cup before beating Hunslet Club Parkside, Leeds Rhinos and Bulls.

“The last 12-15 minutes were a bit disappointing,” Thornton said of the game three days ago.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We let in some soft tries after we were 36-0 up.

“I would have been delighted if it had finished 36-0 but the way we finished was disappointing.

“I am not sure of the reasons behind it but for 70 minutes we were very good.”

Thornton made a host of changes to ensure all 21 players in his match-day squad got some game time and felt that contributed to their dip in the closing stages.

“I am not perturbed,” he insisted.

“I was pleased with the first half and the first 20 minutes of the second.”

Hunslet had a bye in the opening week of Betfred League One and begin their competitive season away to Thornton’s previous club Doncaster on Sunday.

The Dons hit back from 22-4 down at half-time to win 32-26 away to highly-fancied Newcastle Thunder in round one and Thornton reckons Hunslet will have to hit the ground running this weekend.

He said: “Doncaster are a good team and they are going to be up there or thereabouts.

“We are looking forward to it.”

Thornton said Hunslet came through the game against Bulls with several “bumps and bruises”, but no major new injury concerns.