Preview: Howitt ruled out of Stags’ cash with the Hawks

Hemel Stags club crest
Hemel Stags club crest

Hemel Stags continue their quest for an end of season play-off place this Sunday when they play host to high flying Hunslet Hawks.

The Hawks have already defeated Hemel twice this season, and Stags head coach Troy Perkins is aware his team need to improve upon those performances if they are to get a positive result.

“We haven’t been in the contest that much in both games we’ve played them this year, and we’ll need to be a fair bit better than those other encounters, said Perkins.

“We’ve a lot to work on, especially around the ruck, and we know Hunslet have got a big pack so it’s vital that we fix up our issues.”

With four games of the regular season remaining Hemel currently reside in the last playoff place, two points ahead of the sixth placed University of Gloucestershire All Golds.

Ad the hard working Australian Perkins is looking for his team to maintain that advantage over the south west club prior to playing them at home on the last day of the month.

“We need to pick up some more points to try to maintain our play-off position, with this game and then Oldham away both being very important,” he said.

London Broncos winger, Kieran Dixon remains available for selection, but Perkins has been rocked by the news that Aussie prop, James Howitt has suffered a broken hand during a game of touch rugby, ruling him out for at least three weeks, and possibly more.

Perkins said: “He’s one of our best props, so it’s a blow to lose him, but we’ve recently signed Joel Thomas from UTC in France and he’ll probably get a chance now.”

The game kicks-off at 2pm and tickets are priced at just £9 for adults if booked in advance from the club, or £12 on the day, while concessionary prices are £4.50 if booked in advance and £6 on the day.