Championship 1 Preview: Gateshead Thunder v Rochdale Hornets (Sun)


Craig Borthwick is doubtful for Gateshead Thunder, while Luke Hardcastle is facing up to three weeks on the sidelines with a knee problem.

Thunder coach Kevin Neighbour is aiming for big improvements after last week’s 55-52 reverse against London Skolars.

Neighbour said: “We can’t afford to score 52 points and get beat – it’s suicide. Defence is the key this week.

“We had a pretty tough session on Tuesday and we were very honest.”

He added: “Rochdale are a good, experienced side and we’ll have to be tough if we want to get anything out of Sunday’s game.”

Wayne English, Mike Ratu and Dayne Donoghue all missed Rochdale Hornets’ Tuesday training session, but coach Ian Talbot is hopeful all three will be fit.

Danny Davies is also back in contention, but Alex McClurg and Alex Trumper are definitely out.

Talbot said: “We’re only playing for 40, 50 or 60 minutes at the moment. We need to get a level of consistency in our performances across the full 80 minutes.”