Gateshead Thunder looking to keep it tight when they meet London Skolars

The last time Gateshead Thunder met London Skolars they were on the end of one of the most remarkable scorelines in rugby league history, losing 55-52

Gateshead Thunder's Jason Payne
Gateshead Thunder's Jason Payne

The last time Gateshead Thunder met London Skolars they were on the end of one of the most remarkable scorelines in rugby league history, losing 55-52.

Tomorrow, head coach Kevin Neighbour is hoping for less fireworks and more discipline as the two teams meet again.

Supporters in the capital for the Kingstone Press Championship One clash might not agree but, with just one win all season and a barrage of heavy scores against them, Thunder’s porous rearguard shipped an average of more than 48 points throughout June.

The latest instalment of defensive fragility saw a 44-12 defeat at Oldham, Neighbour marginally more satisfied with their exploits after the oranges than with what had gone before.

The head coach, admitting his voice had been at full volume during the interval, said: “It was a very poor first half with more of an acceptable second half.

“I gave them a roasting at half-time, basically to get them to try and show some heart.

“Rugby league is a tough game to play and if you want to play it well you can’t just lie down and accept defeat.

“You have to fight for it,and that was the basic tone of what was said.”

Languishing second-bottom in the league and just three points ahead of an improving Gloucester side, tomorrow’s London trip could prove key in avoiding an unwanted fourth consecutive finish at the foot of the table.

“It will be tough down in London but it is possible,” said the former winger, whose squad boasts a clean bill of health ahead of their 600-mile round trip.

“The weather is forecast to be hot and sunny, which will not be easy for the players.

“However, it is the same for both teams and we certainly would not use that as an excuse.”

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