'We're playing finals rugby now': Hunslet boss' warning ahead of Midlands Hurricanes showdown

Hunslet will be playing ‘finals football’ for the rest of the season, coach Alan Kilshaw says.

By Peter Smith
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th July 2022, 3:15 pm

With five games of the regular campaign remaining, beginning at home to Midlands Hurricanes on Friday, the Parksiders are sixth in Betfred League One .

The leaders go up automatically and the next five will play off for the second promotion spot.

Hunslet let a 20-12 half-time lead slip in last weekend’s 36-26 defeat at North Wales Crusaders, leaving them needing three more wins to guarantee qualification for the play-offs.

Harvey Hallas will miss Friday's game because of concussion. Picture by Tony Johnson

Kilshaw pledged: “We have to be on for the full duration of the game and build some finals football performances.

“Our main objective is still the one set at the start of the season, which is to secure a play-off spot.

“Having those finals football performances will then build into that play-off campaign.”

Last Saturday’s defeat ended a three-match winning run, but Kilshaw insisted: “A short turnaround has really helped narrow our focus.

“We are excited to play a Friday night fixture at home and we are hopeful of a few players returning to the 17 this week, which will boost the group.

“Cole Oakley has returned on loan from Halifax until the end of the season and his versatility is a big plus for us at this stage of the campaign.

“We have identified areas we know we must be better at, areas we have been working hard on for a number of weeks.

“This group always give their all for the badge and we can be very proud of how they have faced and overcome some challenges this season.”

But he warned: “We are well aware of the threat Midlands pose.

“Their results aren’t reflective of the squad they have.

“They are a very dangerous side with the ball, but have had some disruptions this campaign and that has been reflected in their results.”

Harvey Hallas has been ruled out of Friday’s game because of concussion.

Jack Render, Wayne Reittie, Liam Carr,Oli Burton and Oakley are all vying for a recall.

Hunslet: from Render, Reittie, Mossop, Whiteley, Summers, Syme, Berry, O’Hanlon, Stableford, Paga, Carr, Hallett, Sanderson, Burton, Jones, Beharrell, Peltier, Hird, Turner, Milthorpe, Oakley.

Referee: Cameron Worsley (Castleford).

Kick-off: Friday, 7.45pm.