West Wales Raiders v Hunslet: Professional performance required says Thornton

Gary Thornton.
Gary Thornton.
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BOSS GARY Thornton admits Hunslet are on a “hiding to nothing” this afternoon.

The Saturday afternoon fixture at West Wales Raiders means a 530-mile round trip to take on Betfred League One’s whipping boys.

West Wales have lost all their 19 league games so far this season, scoring 140 points and conceding 1,482.

They have leaked more than a century of points four times – including a record 144-0 scoreline at York City Knights in April – and kept their opponents to fewer than 50 on just three occasions.

Hunslet cruised to an 86-0 victory when the sides met at South Leeds Stadium in May, but Thornton said their focus today is on doing a professional job rather than running up a huge score.

Hunslet were due to set off at 7am for the 3pm kick-off at Stebonheath Park in Llanelli and Thornton said: “It is a difficult one, we are on a bit of a hiding to nothing.

“I do know it will be tougher down there than when we played them at home.

“It’s a six-hour coach journey there and we’ve got to try and manage that as best we can.

“I’m told by other teams that have played there that the facilities are pretty good, the pitch is all right, so it’s just a case of managing the journey and making sure we prepare and approach the game in a professional manner.

“Having just got back on a winning run last week we’ve got to make sure we maintain it.”

Hunslet are seventh in the table, outside the top-five on points difference.

Today is an opportunity to boost their for and against – which at plus 99 is the poorest of the promotion contenders – but Thornton insisted: “We’re probably too far behind most of the teams around us on points difference for that to come into play.

“Obviously we want to improve our points difference, but we can’t go there with that in mind because it becomes disrespectful if you do.

“We are just concentrating on winning the game. First and foremost, we’ve got to get our gameplan right.”

Prop Lewis Reed has been cleared to play after receiving a sending-off sufficient verdict following his red card in last Sunday’s 24-16 success at Keighley Cougars, but Cain Southernwood will miss out due to illness.