Hunslet coach Gary Thornton promotes positives ahead of pivotal point in season
HUNSLET ARE out, but boss Gary Thornton has urged his players not to be down.
The Betfred League One leaders were pipped 28-24 at home by Championship side Halifax in the Coral Challenge Cup fourth round, after leading 16-6 at half-time.
It was Hunslet’s first defeat of the season, but Thornton reckons if they play that well most weeks they will be a tough team to beat in their division.
“The post-match chat with the lads was around taking the positives out of it and taking them into our next games going forward,” Thornton said.
“We can’t let it deflate us.
“It was a very disappointed changing room , there were some very disappointed people because it ended our winning run, but we have to take the positives into our next two games.
“We have got two really big away games coming up – Whitehaven this week, then a week off and Oldham away.
“They are two really pivotal games which could help define our season and we have to be positive going into them.”
Thornton felt the Parksiders were unfortunate not to beat their dual-registration partner club and admitted he was “disappointed with the result, but immensely proud of the players”.
He said: “I thought we were outstanding and unlucky not to get the result.
“A couple of key decisions didn’t go in our favour, particularly the sin-binning of Nathan Chappell.
“They scored a couple of tries when he was off and that turned the game on its head a bit, but to take a top-four Championship team that close was a terrific effort.”
Ben Heaton missed the clash with his former club after suffering a calf-muscle injury in training, but Thornton said: “I am hoping that’s not too bad and we didn’t pick up any new injuries, other than bumps and bruises.”