An expected full-house crowd will bring the best out of Hunslet in tomorrow’s eagerly-anticipated Ladbrokes Challenge Cup showdown with Bradford Bulls, coach Gary Thornton believes.
Hunslet have home advantage for what is the first of back-to-back meetings between the sides, who will face off again in a Betfred League One clash at Odsal in eight days’ time.
Bulls, who recently signed Hunslet captain George Flanagan, were Cup winners as recently as 2003 and have made a 100 per cent start to their league campaign, but Thornton’s men are also two from two and their eight-game winning run, stretching back to last August, is the joint-best in any of the three professional divisions.
Assessing Hunslet’s chances of creating what would be considered a fourth-round upset, Thornton said: “I think we are reasonably confident.
“I think there was a bit of edginess and nervousness last week against North Wales, with them having had a good win the week before and it being our first home game.
“There won’t be any of that this week. I have told the boys to go out, enjoy themselves, express themselves and play. Josh Jordan-Roberts.
“We are looking forward to it. There’s been an air of excitement since it was drawn and George going there has added a bit of extra spice to it.”
Hunslet are in the winning habit, but Thornton admits they will need an improved performance to secure a place in the fifth-round draw.
“The challenges are getting harder week by week,” he warned.
“Not being disrespectful to the teams we played prior to North Wales, but that was definitely the toughest game so far and there’ll be an increase in intensity this week.
“Last week we did enough to win, but never got out of second gear. We will have to be on our guard for the full 80 in this game.”
He added: “There were 2,900 there when Bradford played at Keighley last week and we are looking for something similar.
“It should be a good day for the club commercially and hopefully we can do ourselves proud and make it a good day all round.”
On-loan Leeds Rhinos forward Josh Jordan-Roberts is set to make his Hunslet debut against the side he played for last year.
Tomorrow’s match is not all ticket. Fans can buy tickets at the ground.