Hunslet’s pre-season campaign began with a 30-6 defeat at Betfred League One rivals York City Knights, but coach Gary Thornton felt his team played better than the result suggests.

“The scoreline was disappointing, but I was really happy with the effort and commitment, especially for a first hit-out,” Thornton said.

“York had played three times already. It was pretty encouraging, there’s loads to work on, but it was a good platform.

“There were more positives than negatives so I am reasonably happy.”

Hunslet trailed only 6-0 at the break and Thornton added: “The scoreline blew out, in the last five minutes they scored three tries which was disappointing.

“That was down to match fitness. We ran out of steam a bit, but I expected us to be rusty. We defended well in the first half and bombed a few chances early doors. We ran out of steam a bit, but I expected us to be rusty.

“Just execution let us down, but that will come with match practice and more games.”

Hunslet came through with no serious injuries, but Mufaro Mvududu pulled out before the game owing to an ankle problem. David Foggin-Johnston missed the match with a shoulder strain, along with Brad Foster (hamstring), Jack Lee (ill), Nathan Chappell (knee) and Michael Haley (shin).