TODAY’S VISIT of Gloucestershire All Golds (3pm) is a “must-win” game for Hunslet, coach Gary Thornton reckons.
Hunslet are top of the Kingstone Press League One Shield table, but last Sunday’s 20-12 defeat at North Wales Crusaders blew the race for places in the competition final wide open.
The top-two at the end of the seven additional fixtures will contest the Shield decider with the league leaders having home advantage.
Hunslet are a point clear of London Skolars and North Wales and only two ahead of today’s opponents.
Thornton said: “We can’t afford any more slip-ups.
“We put ourselves under a bit of pressure by losing last week so it is a must-win really.
“We want to get to the final and get home advantage so we have to finish top and we have to win all our games.
“But after last week we are looking for an improved performance as well as a win.”
Hunslet won 10-6 when All Golds visited South Leeds Stadium in round one of the regular season, five months ago.
“We are a northern-based team and all the southern teams want to beat you,” Thornton warned.
“We are almost in a situation where we are facing teams in their cup final every week. We know that and we expect it.
“They have a chance of getting into the final - they are only two points behind us now so they have given themselves a sniff.
“They have already beaten North Wales so they will come prepared and confident and we have to make sure we are much, much better than we were last week and we are prepared for everything Gloucester throw at us.”
Joel Gibson is set to return for Hunslet after completing a suspension and Cameron Leeming and Jack Walton could also feature.