HUNSLET COACH Gary Thornton has had a “deep and frank conversation” with Chris Campbell of the Rugby Football League’s match officials department following last Sunday’s 34-20 home defeat by Oldham.
Thornton reckons inconsistent refereeing had a bearing on Hunslet finishing fifth in Betfred League One and sending them into a sudden-death elimination play-off at home to Workington Town tomorrow (3pm).
“We got some pretty tough calls against us that made momentum swings difficult,” Thornton claimed of last week’s game.
“We got penalised for offside in our own 10 and Oldham got away with a couple where they were blatantly offside.
“It was a high penalty count again, I think it was 12-five against us, which mystifies me.
“Some of the penalties given against us were ridiculous, but they were getting away with similar stuff.”
Thornton said Campbell agreed with many of the points raised, but admitted: “It is really getting to me a bit because we are not an ill-disciplined team, but it appears that way because we are losing the penalty counts.
“The inconsistency of some of the refereeing calls against us this year has really, really hurt us.”
Despite his concerns, Thornton insisted Hunslet can’t use the man in the middle as an excuse tomorrow, in their most crucial game of the season so far.
“Whitehaven have won the league this year by being really disciplined and completing their sets and that’s what we’ve got to do,” he stressed.
Hunslet finished three points and one place ahead of Workington, but have lost three times to the Cumbrian side this year – including twice at home.
“If you’re at home in the play-offs you have to use that as an advantage,” Thornton added.
“We’ve got a couple coming back, I think. I hope Adam Robinson’s going to be back from injury and Jack Lee is 50-50, but I’m not ruling him out.
“Josh Tonks is back from his suspension so we’re getting some good players back who we’ve certainly missed over the last couple of weeks. It is a one-off game and it probably boils down to attitude and the players’ desire to want to put right some of the failings we’ve had over the last few weeks.”