Hunslet's players let sacked coach Gary Thornton down admits captain Duane Straugheir

Captain Duane Straugheir says Hunslet’s players failed former coach Gary Thornton, who was sacked this week in the wake of a 46-44 loss at Coventry Bears six days ago.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 4:45 pm
Gary Thornton was sacked after Hunslet's defeat at Coventry. Picture by Tony Johnson.
Gary Thornton was sacked after Hunslet's defeat at Coventry. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Thornton’s assistant Mark Cass has been placed in caretaker charge of the team for Sunday's visit of North Wales Crusaders (3pm).

“The players accept, as a group, it was our fault and not Gary Thornton’s that a comfortable lead at Coventry was allowed to slip away,” Straugheir said.

“I think every single one of us as a team would rather have faced the backlash from the fans or some sort of punishment from the club - be it a fine or whatever - than to have seen GT lose his job.

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“It was a long and sombre return to Leeds after that defeat and we’d already resolved, before his sacking, to make amends this Sunday with a real dig against North Wales.

“We felt we really owed it to the club, the fans, and especially Gary after we let him down the way we did.”

Straugheir insisted: “The fact GT has now left Hunslet makes it bitter sweet, but gives us extra motivation – we’ll be going all out for victory as a mark of respect for him, in addition to reviving our promotion bid.”

Cass added: “The lads acknowledge they have to put things right on the pitch after last week’s defeat.

"They have to do it for themselves and they are also determined to do it for GT.”

Simon Brown (ribs) and Sion Jones (ankle) were both injured in the defeat at Coventry, when Hunslet squandered a 44-22 lead - and will miss this weekend's game.

Hunslet (v North Wales): from Young, A Brown, Chrimes, Cooke, Reittie, Gibbons, Brambani, Coleman, Boardman, Rowe, Halafihi, Conroy, Andrade, Kidd, Hey, Straugheir, Hallas, McClean, Wray. Wood.

Referee: Kevin Moore (Wakefield).

Kick-off: Sunday, 3pm.

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