Preview: Gateshead v Whitehaven

Confident Gateshead Thunder search for their first Co-operative Championship One victory of the season with loan signing Tabua Cakacaka set to make his third ‘debut’ for the club.

The Hunslet prop has joined Thunder on a month’s loan deal after two previous spells in the north east.

Coach Richard Pell can also call on Michael Ward and Tom Hodgson for Sunday’s game, which comes just six days after Gateshead secured a 32-32 draw at London.

Pell said: “Our halfbacks went really well. If we can get our defence right, then we’ve shown we can score some points.

“However, Whitehaven are a quality side. They seem to have retained most of their squad from last year and they’ve got that quality about them.”

Whitehaven travel without dual-registered Chris Fleming, who dislocated a shoulder against Oldham on Monday.

Luke Issaka (shoulder) and Dexter Miller (ankle) are also doubtful, meaning coach David Seeds is forced to reshuffle his squad.

Seeds said: “Our result against Oldham really gives us some confidence and heart. It’s credit to the lads to come up with that after Friday’s match.”

On Gateshead, he said: “They haven’t started off very well but they’ve gone to London and nearly pinched a win there.

“They’ll take a lot of belief from that performance and Cakacaka is back to strengthen their squad. We need to be very wary of them, but our biggest challenge is how we mentally turn up on the day.”

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