Gateshead Thunder are out to prove a point

Gateshead Thunder captain Jason Payne says his side are out to prove a point after their home defeat to London Skolars

Gateshead Thunder centre and try scorer Tom Capper celebrates
Gateshead Thunder centre and try scorer Tom Capper celebrates

Gateshead Thunder were given “a bit of a lesson” the last time they played Rochdale Hornets.

So captain Jason Payne says they have a point to prove after that – and last week’s “totally unacceptable” home defeat to London Skolars.

Thunder squandered a 12-point half-time lead to lose 55-52 last Sunday, leaving them second bottom of the Kingstone Press Championship One table.

They host the Hornets tomorrow (3pm), having lost their first competitive fixture of the season to the Rochdale franchise 58-16 in the Northern Rail Cup.

The Gateshead outfit have improved since then, picking up vital bonus points in recent, close-run games, but Payne has warned his team-mates to prepare for a “tough” examination.

Payne, whose side are without full-back Luke Hardcastle, said: “We know Rochdale will be a different proposition to London.

“We have already played them this season in the cup and they gave us a bit of a lesson.

“We did not perform and they put a lot of points past us.

“So we know it’s going to be a tough game but we’ have a point to prove after last week.

“Throwing away that sort of lead is totally unacceptable and we have to make amends by playing well against Rochdale.”

With the International Stadium unavailable while newly-laid turf continues to bed in, Thunder have been playing at Blaydon Rygby Club this season.

Tomorrow’s game is the second of a three-game sojourn to South Shields’ Filtrona Park and Payne is enjoying the experience.

He added: “I like playing at Filtrona Park.

“It is a nice, tight, enclosed ground and the fans can get close to the action.

“It means you can hear the abuse when things are not going so well, but that’s part and parcel of the game.

“It’s not ideal having to play away from the International Stadium but it makes a nice change to play at places like Blaydon and South Shields.”


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