Boss Gary Thornton admits the Betfred League One table is looking “a bit sorry” from Hunslet’s point of view, but he was encouraged by their performance as they hit back to give high-flying York City Knights a scare.

Hunslet were beaten 26-24 in the game two days ago and are ninth in the table, but Thornton felt his men were the better team for 50 minutes.

“I was really disappointed at the end not to have won it,” Thornton said.

“We gave ourselves too much to do, they were 24-0 up after 18-20 minutes.

“We started really slowly, there were one or two missed tackles and poor defensive efforts.

“They are a quality team and when they get half a chance they turn it into a try.

“That’s what they did, we gave them a few chances and they took them.” But after looking to be on course for a drubbing, Hunslet produced some of their best rugby of the season.

“We gave ourselves a lot to do, but we got back in it,” added Thornton.

“We started to play in the last 10 minutes of the first half and I thought we outplayed them in the second half.

“We scored a few tries and restricted them to a penalty goal.

“It was a terrific second half showing, but just not quite good enough.

“The table is looking a bit sorry now, but I can’t fault the effort and character we showed in the second half.

“We looked a good team, but you can’t give a side a 24-point start and we have to learn from that.”

That has been a recurring theme for Hunslet this season. Thornton admitted: “We’ve done it too often.

“We came back in a couple of games, against Oldham and Workington, but you can’t do it every week.”

Article courtesy of Peter Smith, YEP