Hunslet face test of character in bid to keep home record intact

Mufaro Mvududu.
Mufaro Mvududu.
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HUNSLET FACE a new challenge when they play host to Keighley Cougars in Betfred League One today (2pm).

Last Sunday’s 32-12 defeat at Bradford Bulls ended an eight-game winning run which stretched back to last August.

Gary Thornton.

Gary Thornton.

The Parksiders’ current squad has not previously had to respond to a loss and coach Gary Thornton reckons that represents a test of character in what is traditionally a tricky fixture.

“We had a couple of disappointments last year, but we’ve been on an eight-game winning run and when you lose it is unfamiliar ground,” Thornton said.

“Games against Keighley are always a tough challenge anyway.

“They are on a three-game losing streak and will want to put that right so we know we’ve got a tough task, but we want to get our season back on track from the disappointing result at Bradford.

“I will be looking for a response, definitely.”

Thornton felt Hunslet played well in patches at Odsal, but let themselves down – particularly defensively – at key times in the game. He also felt his players “went into our shells a bit” rather than taking the game to Bradford.

“We under-achieved a bit last week and we will be looking to improve,” he added.

“I think that’s important, we are looking to improve week-by-week.”

Hunslet have not lost at South Leeds Stadium since last June and Thornton wants their home ground to be a fortress.

He said: “Our home form will be important in determining where we finish. There’s a few scenarios to unfold, but we’ve just got to make sure we get back on the horse and return to winning ways.”

Thornton will select his side from the 17 players beaten at Bradford, plus Mufaro Mvududu, who has recovered from a rib injury, and Jack Walton.