Hunslet v Doncaster: We’ve turned a corner says coach Gary Thornton

Gary Thornton.
Gary Thornton.
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Hunslet on a roll, but boss Gary Thornton knows visitors Doncaster will be fired up to knock them off track tomorrow evening (7.30pm).

After a blip in April and May when they suffered back-to-back defeats, the Parksiders have climbed to second in Betfred League One.

Wins over Newcastle Thunder and Keighley Cougars have kept Hunslet in contention for automatic promotion, or home advantage in the play-offs, but Doncaster are also in the hunt, just four points behind and Thornton reckons it is a crucial game for both sides.

“Hopefully we have turned a bit of a corner,” said the coach who was in charge at Doncaster before joining Hunslet two years ago.

“We’ve put up two good performances – which I have been pretty pleased with – and we’ve just got to keep it rolling.”

Tomorrow is Hunslet’s second successive Friday home game and Thornton added: “We’ve set a target for our home performances in the second half of the season.

“We want to keep the improvement going and we need another good performance and another good result.”

With only four points separating Hunslet from Workington Town, who are seventh and outside the play-off zone, every win is precious.

“There’s no easy games left now,” Thornton warned.

“The competition is tough and I don’t think many teams can afford many more slip ups.

“They [Doncaster] are hitting a bit of good form, they beat Oldham – one of the top teams – quite comfortably last week and they’ll want a bit of revenge from the first game of the season when we went there and beat them.

“They have brought in some good Super League players from [partner club] Hull and it will be a tough test, probably one of our toughest so far this season.”

Hunslet were reduced to 11 men for a spell in their 20-18 win four months ago.

With players on both sides facing their former team, Thornton expects it could be a “fiery encounter”, but insisted: “Our discipline has been pretty good the last few weeks. We’ve just got to stick to our game plan and do what we do well.”

Prop Aiden Hema has been cleared of a broken ankle, but he is likely to be sidelined for six to eight weeks with a grade three sprain.