Edwards targets re-match redemption

Newcastle Thunder’s Joel Edwards is targeting a settling of scores this Sunday as the Betfred League 1 playoffs throw up a feeling of déjà vu, with Doncaster RLFC the opponents for the second time in three weeks.

The South Yorkshire men put in an efficient performance against a misfiring Thunder to take a 20-6 win that forced Newcastle into using their second-chance lifeline at the first time of asking but came up short against Oldham last week resulting in a fourth match of the season between the pair.

With a place in the match that will decide who ascends into the Betfred Championship at stake, Edwards is calling on his team-mates to make a marked step forward from that match a fortnight ago.  

“Our ball control wasn’t where it needed to be in that game. Against Workington last week we were a lot more clinical when it came to executing plays and getting to where we needed to on the field. I think when we go into Doncaster this week; we really need to have a real focus on what we can control and get those parts of our game right again.

“It’s important for us to remember that it is a playoff game and that we are playing for something but we still need to approach it like you would any other week even though there is more on the line. We still need to go through and respect the processes that have got us to this stage in the season.”

While Doncaster have proven to be somewhat of a bogey side this season by winning two of the three meetings to date and forcing Newcastle into needing a last-second drop-goal to win after racing into an 18-0 lead, Edwards is leaving the thoughts on permutations to those in the stands.

“I think that is more for the fans to think about, the form guide leading into this game isn’t something to go by. Whichever team turns up on Sunday and wants to perform and wants the game more, they will find a way to win.”

With Sunday’s match forming part of a dual-code doubleheader at Kingston Park, with Newcastle Falcons taking on Doncaster Knights at 3pm, Edwards is also hoping that a good number of supporters of the union club will channel their civic pride and cheer on both teams throughout.

“Sunday is going to be a great spectacle where fans can enjoy two professional games and appreciate both codes.  There are skills in both league and union that you can transfer and appreciate as a fan of either and then you can see some of the different dynamics and athletic abilities within each game.

“I know that over here you get some of the alliance to one code, but I hope that the links to the town are more important and if you are a Newcastle Falcons fan you can also be a Newcastle Thunder fan, because you love the place and want to support people who are part of your community.”

“The club is gathering momentum. It wants to be a Super League club and people are wanting to be part of something good, the vision that has been put in front of us and what we are creating ourselves as players and Sunday should be another step in that direction.”

Tickets for Sunday’s game can be booked by clicking here, calling 0871 2266060 or visiting the Kingston Park Stadium Box Office.