Preview: Hemel Stags hit by unavailability for playoff showdown in Gateshead

Hemel Stags club crest
Hemel Stags club crest

Hemel Stags will be without four players for their Championship One playoff clash at Gateshead Thunder due to tomorrow’s scheduled kick-off time of 6pm.

Stags coach Troy Perkins said: “I’ve got three or four players that won’t be able to make the trip due to work commitments first thing Monday morning in London.”

But Perkins remains upbeat, adding: “We’ve got results in our last two games to get us in the play-offs.

“We know Gateshead well. We’ve played them three times, and there hasn’t been much between us in the three games we’ve played.

“They’re a dangerous team who are good in attack, with two smart halves, and they’re hitting some form too.

“They’ve won against some top teams recently, and they were impressive against Oldham.

“But we’ve worked really hard on our defence, and we’ve got to be good there to give ourselves a chance.”

Influential prop James Howitt is fit enough to return after missing the past month with a broken metacarpal.

Hemel Stags’ 19-man squad:

1. James Cameron

2. Aaron Small

3. Michael Brown

4. Matt Cook

5. Jamel Chisholm

6. Eddie M’Baraga

7. Jy-mel Coleman

8. James Howitt

9. Evan Simons

10. Dan Ljazouli

11. Malakhi Lloyd-Jones

12. BJ Swindells

13. Alex Ingarfield

14. Ciaren Clement-Pascall

15. Ryan Chester

16. Owain Griffiths

17. Miles McLeod

18. Ben Kavanagh

19. Tom Sadler

Thunder coach Stanley Gene, meanwhile, is aiming for a second home win against the Stags in as many months.

Gene has no new injury worries, with his side’s last game coming 11 days ago with a 40-14 win over Oldham.