Payne pleased by Super 8 qualification

Jason Payne was happy to secure passage into the Kingstone Press League 1 Super 8s following Sunday’s 68-20 win over and is relishing Sunday’s visit to Hunslet as his side battle with York City Knights to claim fourth place.

The two sides are locked on 18 points after 14 games, through nine wins and five defeats each, with York currently occupying fourth thanks to a superior points difference.

It sets up a grandstand finish to the end of the first stage of the competition on Sunday, when Thunder take on Hunslet at the same time York face Workington, with the interim head coach promising his side will be throwing everything they can at the challenge.

Speaking post-match, Payne said: “Our first goal was to get the point we needed to guarantee us being in that top eight, so that’s done and we’re happy with that.  We dropped off a little bit in the second half but that first half performance saw us through.

“Everyone had a real dig, we didn’t want any complacency. The lads went out there and we played really well in the first half and I was really proud of them. Second half, we know how tight it is going to be with the points and we know that every point really mattered so we were probably guilty of chasing points and I’ll take a lot of the blame for that.

“I put all that onto the boys a little bit and in hindsight we probably should have avoided talking about it a little bit, but no, a big scoreline against a good team who have troubled some big teams this year so I’m really happy with the team and a few outstanding performances as well.”

Acknowledging the focus on racking up points may have contributed to some of the second half drops off against the Bears, Payne concedes it may influence this week’s training.

Asked if the performance in the second half against Coventry will change the way he prepares the side this week, Payne said: “It does in a way, but we really want to be in that top four and get the fourth home game.

“York play Workington and we play Hunslet so I think it’s going to be tight on who gets the place. We’re be going down there trying to give our best possible performance in what’s going to be a massive game.”