Hornets boss wary of Gateshead

Rochdale Hornets coach John Stankevitch expects Scott Yates and Dean Gorton to face Gateshead Thunder on Sunday, despite the pair suffering rib and arm problems respectively during last week’s match against Castleford.

However, Craig Ashall is unlikely to feature against Gateshead. “Craig tore his calf in the warm up last week, and he’s feeling it at the moment,” said Stankevitch. “He can hardly walk right now, so the likelihood is that he won’t play this weekend.”

Rochdale go into Sunday’s Co-operative Championship One clash as big favourites, but Stankevitch insists it isn’t that straightforward.

He said: “I will never, ever say that a game is going to be easy. We got stung last year going to London.”

He added: “It’s our last home game for seven weeks while the pitch gets relaid. We love playing at home, and we’ve got a pretty good record, so we’ve got to be confident – but we know we’ll have to work hard for everything we get.

“Gateshead will be competitive – like every team in this division – and we don’t want to give them a sniff.”

Thunder coach Richard Pell expects to be without Mickey Ward (back and hip) and Robin Peers (groin).

On Rochdale, Pell said: “They’re very well structured in attack, and they’ve got a good kicking game as well.

“They know what they’re doing across the park. They’re really smart, and their players are constantly pushing into holes.

“I watched them against Castleford last week and you could see the structure they’ve got, even against Engage Super League opposition.”

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