Hawks out to kick-start campaign

Matt Bramald
Matt Bramald
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A FREE weekend has helped ease Hunslet’s injury problems.

Hawks have not played since a 24-16 home defeat by Keighley Cougars on Good Friday.

That was their third defeat in as many Kingstone Press League One fixtures and Sunday’s trip to Newcastle Thunder already looks like a must-win game.

“We only did two training sessions last week,” coach Matt Bramald said.

“We gave the players a bit of time off to recover and recuperate and freshen up and, hopefully, they’ll come in [tonight] ready to go.

“It is a big game this weekend and we need to start our league campaign. We are not in a great situation, we are under pressure – I know that and the players know it – and we need to get some points on the board.”

Bramald added: “Hopefully, Michael Haley will be available for Sunday.

“He has got a slight knee problem. At a push he could probably have played against Keighley, but at this stage there’s not a lot of point risking making it worse and losing him for longer.

“We’ve had some positive news on Liam Mackay (shoulder). He probably won’t have to have an operation, so we’re hoping to get him back sooner than we thought.

“Ben Crane (ankle) and Danny Ansell should be available this week, so apart from the longer-term ones, we have a pretty healthy squad.”