Oxford v Hunslet Hawks match preview
Oxford coach Tony Benson expects to be without Sean Morris (concussion) and Valu Bentley (knee) for Sunday’s match with title favourites Hunslet Hawks.
But Benson insists revenge is not part of Oxford’s motivation, despite losing heavily against Hunslet in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup last week.
Benson said: “It’s not about revenge; they’re a good side and they are favourites for the comp. It’s just a case of us being a lot more competitive throughout the 80 minutes. We are focusing on being as good as we should be.”
He added: “Being at home should help by taking out the travel, and a lot of players in our squad are new to this level and are adjusting at the moment – and that’s a process that takes time.”
Hunslet hooker Liam Hood has been ruled out for up to six weeks after undergoing an operation on a compound fracture in his index finger.
John Oakes (ankle) and Thomas Coyle (groin) are also doubtful as coach Barry Eaton tries to ensure there is no complacency among his players.
Eaton said: “We have been making sure that we stay focused, that’s the main message we have spoken about this week.
“We are expecting a tough challenge. They caused us some trouble despite the score line last week, and they had some good chances and some good opportunities.”