Hunslet boss Gary Thornton let down by display at Whitehaven

Jimmy Watson.Jimmy Watson.
Jimmy Watson.
FOUR INJURIES have added to Hunslet's woes after their costly 46-10 loss at Whitehaven.

The Parksiders dropped to seventh in Betfred League One and lost full-back Jimmy Watson to an ankle injury which is expected to end his season.

Coach Gary Thornton said: “We lost him in the second set.

“We thought he had broken his ankle. He has had it x-rayed and there’s nothing broken, but it is very, very badly sprained.

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Gary Thornton.Gary Thornton.
Gary Thornton.

“There’s some pretty serious ligament damage so I doubt we’ll see him again this season – it is a grade two sprain which is six to eight weeks, but we will see how it settles down.”

Hunslet were reduced to 15 available players when Lewis Reed aggravated a persistent hamstring problem in the next set and Mufaro Mvududu (calf) and Nyle Flynn (ankle) also suffered knocks.

The League One leaders will be promoted automatically with the teams from second to fifth playing-off for the other place in next year’s Championship. Even if a proposal to promote the top two and expand the semi-finals to the sixth-placed side are approved, Hunslet are currently out of the play-off zone.

Thornton felt his team let themselves down against Whitehaven who have gone above them on points difference. He said: “People afterwards were saying it is the best Whitehaven have played for a number of weeks, but it looked like it meant more to them which is disappointing because it was a huge game for both clubs.

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“We should have been good enough to win the game, but we never really got a grip of it. We are still not out of it, but we are relying on other results going our way.

“If we win our remaining two we will give ourselves a chance because Whitehaven have to go to York and Oldham [who are fifth] play Bradford.

“If we win two out of two and they lose one we still have a chance of the top-five, but we are not making it easy for ourselves.”

Hunslet host Newcastle Thunder on Sunday and complete their league campaign away to Coventry Bears.