Championship Preview: Swinton Lions v Rochdale Hornets

Swinton Lions coach Ian Watson is aiming for back-to-back wins after last week’s morale-boosting 42-24 victory over North Wales Crusaders.

The Lions remain nine points behind ninth-placed Batley Bulldogs, but could narrow that gap by beating Rochdale Hornets on Friday.

However, Hornets look set to be boosted by the return of Tony Suffolk and Alex McClurg, although Gareth Langley and Mike Ratu are still ruled out.

Hornets coach Ian Talbot said: “This is a massive game for us, given the disappointment of finding ourselves at the bottom of the table.

“I’m not really a believer in classing games as must-win, but this one is massive if we’ve any ambition of getting off the bottom and then trying to climb up to ninth place.

“For 60 minutes we were good against Batley last week, but in the other 20 minutes we conceded five tries and that’s the game gone. We can’t afford to repeat those mistakes this week.”

Talbot has been dealt a further blow with confirmation that Sean Casey has suffered a broken jaw, despite an initial diagnosis of dislocation. Casey will see a specialist on Thursday about a possible reconstruction.

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