Kingstone Press Championship One Preview: Gateshead Thunder v Hemel Stags

Gateshead Thunder coach Stanley Gene insists his side must improve for Sunday’s visit of Hemel Stags – despite scoring 48 points last week.

Thunder emerged 48-28 winners over Oxford, but Gene said: “It was nice to get a good win, but there’s still room for improvement when we play Hemel.”

Stags coach Troy Perkins has been given a major boost with the news that London Broncos winger Kieran Dixon is available this week.

Perkins said: “I coached Kieran when he was just 12 years old, gave him his first-team debut at Hemel when he was 16, and he’s a massive addition to our squad this week.

“He’s buzzing to get back playing after being out for so long, and hopefully he can get match fit for the back end of the Super League season.”

On Gateshead, Perkins said: “We always knew this game was going to be a big game for both clubs, and the winner will go a long way to securing a play-off position.

“Gateshead are in good form. Jordan Meads is looking pretty good and Benn Hardcastle is a smart half-back.

“But we’re going up the day before and we’ll be in Newcastle from Saturday afternoon, so we’re giving ourselves every opportunity to perform.”

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