Thursday, 10 May 2012

Look Out, Here Come: Gateshead

Having shipped 11 tries in a brutal 58-6 humping by Workington, Gateshead Thunder Coach Kevin Neighbour hasn't been a happy man this week.

He's been reflecting on where it all went wrong in what he says was: "…  probably our worst performance so far this season".  With so many to choose from,  he proved rapier-like in his analysis: "…  you have just got to hold your hands up and say we were beaten by the better side…"

Slumped winless at the foot of CC1 with just 2 bonus points to their name, this season is already taking on a familiar look for the perennial Geordie whipping boys. But Kev's keen to put things right - oh yes!

"This week will be one in which we will work smarter and harder to prepare for Rochdale, who will be looking to get back to winning ways as quick (sic) as they can. We will see in training who will step up to the challenge to rid the memory of Sunday's performance."

"We just need to re-group now, dust ourselves down, get on with training and focus on our next game against Rochdale." A good plan. 

But they'll have to do it without club stalwart Chris Parker. The prop with over 100 appearances to his name announced his immediate retirement at training last week. Thunder have also released threequarter Ashley Wiliams.

Neighbour finds his side also shorn of half-back Sam Walsh, currently serving  a belated five-match ban, after being found guilty of biting Whitehaven's Craig Calvert back in February. Clearly the RFL disciplinary have been chewing it over. Walsh had been previously banned for two years in 2010 , having provided a sample containing banned anabolic steroids, he was handed a second chance by Gateshead when his suspension finished at the end of January.  Insert your own punchline here.

Ultimately, hooker Ryan Clarke knows exactly what the team need to work on ahead of Sunday: "We need to cut out the penalties and errors to stay in the arm wrestle more. If we do that we will compete with teams." Wise words indeed, mate.