22nd September 2017, 16:52 | league1
This Sunday, Hunslet RLFC take on Sheffield Eagles at the South Leeds Stadium in the Kingstone Press League 1 Shield Final.
The two sides came head to head last weekend in the final round of the regular Super 8s, with Hunslet securing a 18-12 victory to move ahead of Skolars in the table and gain home advantage in the final.
Last weekend’s loss was London Skolars first in nine games and the win for Hunslet took them to four games unbeaten.
Looking ahead to the final, Hunslet coach Gary Thornton said, “We’re reasonably confident. It’s a strange set of circumstances playing the same team twice in succession.
“The important thing from last week was for us to get home advantage. If I’m honest though, we were a little bit nervy last week, some of our attacking plays weren’t the greatest but I think the pressure is off now and anything can happen in the final.
“Both teams have got an equally good chance really, London are a very good team and we have to make sure we give them the respect they deserve.
“I think Jermaine Coleman has done a fantastic job, they’re a difficult to team to beat and I think they’ll be very confident after the way they played last week.
“We have to be realistic, we can’t be overconfident, we know they’re going to come and give us a really good game so we have to better than last weekend.”
Thornton also believes lifting the shield this weekend would be a fitting reward for the club’s supporters, he continued, “For a club of Hunslet’s stature and history, not making the top 8 in League 1 was really disappointing.
“I think once we decided we were in this competition we set out to do one thing and that was to win, I think that’s the least we can do for our faithful fans.
“Hopefully we can do that and that will give us a good springboard going in to next year.”
Last weekend’s loss to Hunslet was London Skolars first in nine games and coach Jermaine Coleman is hoping they can put in an improved performance this weekend, he said,
“We’re going up there full of confidence, we think we undersold ourselves last weekend. Hunslet put a lot into the game and played very well.
“There’s a lot of excitement in the team, it’s an opportunity to be the first team in London to get some silverware under our belts, so it’s a great thing for London Rugby League as a whole.
“It’d be a sweet moment for myself being an ex-player to go back up there and if we can get the result we all desire it’ll be a really great occasion.
“Both teams to their credit have gone on a really good run after missing out on the top 8 so we’ll be going up there for a result and a bit of justification for the season, it’ll make us a little bit happier and take away the sour note of not making the top 8.
“We’ve both been playing some good rugby and we’re strong, physical teams that play some expansive rugby league so it’ll be good entertainment I’m sure.”