Hunslet buoyant despite stop-start nature to this year’s pre-season

Injured Duane Straughheir and Reece Dean. Picture: Paul Butterfield.
Injured Duane Straughheir and Reece Dean. Picture: Paul Butterfield.
0
Have your say

HUNSLET ARE “going back into pre-season” after completing their Yorkshire Cup campaign with a 40-12 win over National Conference champions Hunslet Club Parkside.

Hunslet have one more warm-up game, at home to Leeds Rhinos on Sunday, February 3, for the Harry Jepson OBE Memorial Trophy, before beginning their Betfred League One campaign three weeks later.

Hunslet head coach Gary Thornton. Picture: Andrew Roe.

Hunslet head coach Gary Thornton. Picture: Andrew Roe.

Coach Gary Thornton’s side have a bye in week one of the season and play their first competitive match away to Doncaster on Sunday, February 24.

With the Yorkshire Cup being staged over the first three weekends in January that has meant a stop-start build-up.

“We’re back into pre-season for two weeks now,” Thornton said, but he stressed the mood in the camp is buoyant.

“We were good [last weekend], we dominated the game.

Vila Halafihi.

Vila Halafihi.

“We gave a couple of sloppy tries away in the second half, but we were always in control.

“I wanted another improvement and I definitely got that.

“We wanted the result as well, so to get both was really pleasing.

“We defended well and scored some good tries.”

Thornton was happy with several individuals.

He added: “Reece Dean played well at pivot and Vila Halafihi played his first game for us at nine and looked good.

“He was a massive doubt with a dead leg, but he was desperate to play and he declared himself fit on the day of the game.

“Zach Braham and Aiden Hema played their first game of pre-season and did well and Jimmy Watson was excellent at full-back. It was a good overall performance.”

Duane Straugheir and Tom Ashton both picked up a hamstring strain, but neither injury is believed to be serious.