Opportunity knocked off in style by Hunslet stand-off Joe Sanderson

Joe Sanderson.
Joe Sanderson.
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STAND-OFF JOE Sanderson’s comeback after being sent to Coventry was boss Gary Thornton’s highlight of a morale-boosting Hunslet win.

Sanderson was Hunslet’s outstanding player, landing seven goals from as many attempts, in the Parksiders’ 42-18 victory over North Wales Crusaders in Betfred League One.

Gary Thornton.

Gary Thornton.

It was the Leeds Rhinos academy product’s first game since returning from a loan spell at Coventry Bears and Thornton said: “He came in and had a really good game.

“I was pleased for him. He has not had it easy this year; he has been kept out of the side by Reece Dean and he went to Coventry, but he has come back, dug in and worked hard.

“I gave him an opportunity and he took it and it is pleasing when that happens.”

But the win was marred by a series of injuries which left players in doubt for Saturday evening’s game at Keighley Cougars.

Thornton confirmed: “Charlie Martin got a rib injury, I’m not sure how bad.

“Nathan Chappell was concussed and definitely won’t play this week because it’s a six-day turnaround and the concussion protocol is seven.

“Michael Haley and Dale Bloomfield both got knee injuries, but I don’t think they are too bad.”

Hunslet went above Doncaster into fourth place in the table and ended a run of three successive home defeats.

“It was much-needed,” Thornton admitted.

“We had a good performance, which was key.

“We slipped off for a five- or 10-minute period in the first half and let them back in at 18-0, which was disappointing.

“Their interchange hooker caused us a bit of damage around the ruck, but we addressed it and sorted it out.”

Thornton added: “It was disappointing to concede right at the death, we were hoping for a zero against us in the second half, but they kicked a 40-20, Jimmy Watson kicked the ball away and got sin-binned and they scored off the back of that.

“Other than that, we were very good.

“We were very disciplined and we completed at 90 per cent.”