Hunslet: ‘Professional’ Parksiders playing for home gains

QUALITY LINE-UP: Hemel's Jack Wray in action against Featherstone Rovers during his time at Leeds Rhinos. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
QUALITY LINE-UP: Hemel's Jack Wray in action against Featherstone Rovers during his time at Leeds Rhinos. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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A RUTHLESS AND professional approach is what coach Gary Thornton wants from his players in tomorrow’s Kingstone Press League One Shield tie at Hemel Stags (2.30pm).

With two games to go Hunslet are second in the table and a win at Hemel would secure their place in the competition final – against current leaders London Skolars – in two weeks’ time.

Hunslet coach,' Gary Thornton. PIC: Andrew Roe

Hunslet coach,' Gary Thornton. PIC: Andrew Roe

The Parksiders are at home to Skolars next week in a game which is set to decide home advantage for the final and Thornton reckons it is crucial his team continue from where they left off in last Sunday’s 64-7 demolition of South Wales Ironmen.

Hemel are second from bottom and have won just three of 23 league matches, but Thornton warned: “We have not been great on the road this year, certainly against the so-called smaller teams.

“We can’t afford another Oxford or North Wales. We have got to go there and be professional and do a job.

“In this competition, for every team we play it is like their cup final – they all raise their game and I am sure Hemel will as well.

“They have improved, they have got a few players in from Hull – including Jack Wray, who was in Leeds’ academy – so they have strengthened and their results have got better in the second half of the season.

“We can’t afford to take them lightly.

“We have to show them respect, but at the same time we have got to go there and be as ruthless as we were last week.

“I was pleased because we could have taken our foot off the gas, but we didn’t.

“We have got to go and show the same mentality and professional approach this week.”

Thornton also regards tomorrow as an opportunity to try some things ahead of next week’s vital match.

“We are taking it game by game,” he stressed.

“Every week brings its own challenge and we have got to do a job, but we are doing some things in preparation for London.

“We are looking forward in some respects. Before last week we set our stall out – we knew four wins would mean we win the Shield and that is our target.”

Triumphant Hunslet coach, Gary Thornton.

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Hunslet coach, Gary Thornton.

Hunslet: Thornton praises players’ ‘professionalism’