Kingstone Press League 1 Preview: Rochdale Hornets v Hemel Stags

Ian Talbot, the Rochdale Hornets coach, was desperately disappointed with his side’s 54-20 defeat at Keighley Cougars.

“For the level of performance to drop back down again after the week before was bitterly disappointing,” he said.

“There were a few freakish tries but their outside backs were phenomenal, they scored three tries from our attacking plays. We didn’t do ourselves justice and contributed to our own downfall, which is something we’ll have to work on.

“Hemel this week is one of those games where we’re expected to go out and win. We know it’s not just going to happen. One of these Southern teams are going to sting one of us Northern teams pretty soon and we just need to work hard and make sure it’s not us.

“They were on the end of a tough result against York last week and I’m sure they’ll be trying to make amends.”

Wing Dale Bloomfield is out while a torn quad muscle while forward Tony Suffolk has been suspended for 10 matches for an incident in the game against North Wales Crusaders.

Troy Perkins was another disappointed coach after his Hemel Stags side were hammered 70-10 at home by York City Knights.

“We just weren’t at the races and weren’t good enough in any area,” he said.

“Our defence was embarrassing at times and our lack of respect for the ball is just killing us. If you keep turning the ball over and all you are doing is tackling, eventually it’s going to come and bite you.

“I think we completed about 50 per cent at the weekend and it’s not good enough. Our skill level at times leaves a lot to be desired and we’ve got to work hard at training to improve those areas.

“Rochdale were beaten at the weekend and they’ll be looking to bounce back. Spotland is a tough place to go to, it’s a big, wide pitch and it’s going to be another big test for us.

“All we can do is try and improve on last week’s performance and see where that brings us.”

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