DISAPPOINTED COACH Gary Thornton accepts some tough decisions will have to be made after Hunslet’s season ends next Saturday.
A 46-10 home defeat by Newcastle Thunder two days ago left Hunslet seventh in the table. They could still sneak into the play-offs if they record a big win at Coventry Bears on Saturday, Oldham are beaten away to London Skolars and fifth-placed Whitehaven lose heavily at York City Knights.
But Thornton, whose side lost by the same score at Whitehaven in their previous game, accepts that is unlikely and said: “There’s a lot of decisions to make in terms of moving forward.
“The season will be over on Saturday and then we’ve got to sit down and work really hard to make sure we bring quality players in to see it through to fruition next year and not fall at the last hurdle.”
The 2018 League One leaders will be promoted and the teams from second to fifth go into the play-offs.
Thornton admitted: “I am personally disappointed.
“Our goal at the start of the season was to get into the top five. I thought as a squad we were good enough to do that.
“We have gone from a really strong position four or five weeks ago, when we’d given ourselves a real chance, to just capitulating. We have been in such a promising situation for most of the season and right at the death we’ve let ourselves down and it looks like we’ll miss out on challenging in the play-offs.”
Of what went wrong against Newcastle, Thornton said: “Injuries certainly didn’t help, but that’s no excuse – the players who came in should have been good enough. We had six or seven first teamers out. Other people had a chance to put their name in the frame and didn’t really take it.
“The scoreline was very disappointing; we didn’t control Newcastle’s ruck speed at all. They have some pretty quick players and they were getting through us and round us far too easily. Defensively we were pretty poor and we gave a lot of cheap penalties away. It was very similar to the Whitehaven game and that’s the alarming thing. I thought we had learned and moved on.”