NRC Preview: Gateshead v Batley

Liam Duffy has a 50/50 chance of making a shock return for Gateshead as Thunder coach Chris Hood insists his team are heading in the right direction.

Thunder lost 74-6 against Blackpool last week. Hood said: “We just need to keep concentrating on ourselves. That’s what this whole season is about.

“Thunder’s problem over the last 10 years has been trying to make an instant impact without having solid foundations. We’re going to take a longer approach and longer view to make sure we’ve got players that are up to the standard and are Gateshead Thunder through and through.”

Crawford Matthews (dislocated shoulder) and Rob Harvey (hamstring) are also missing for the hosts.

Tommy Gallagher (back) is Batley’s only new injury concern, with coach Karl Harrison otherwise pleased with the progress of his squad.

He said: “We’ve got eight points with just one game to play, so we should be through (to the quarter finals).”

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