Payne praises positive Thunder win

Payne praises positive Thunder win

4th September 2017

Jason Payne was not only pleased with the result, but the manner of its securing following Sunday’s win over Keighley Cougars, as Newcastle Thunder kept their play-off hopes alive heading into the final fortnight of Super 8 games.

Payne saw his side ride out a determined challenge from the Cougars, before ultimately outscoring the visitors by five tries to two in a 34 – 8 win and is eagerly anticipating this weekend’s trip to Doncaster.

Speaking post match, the interim head coach said; “The main thing was getting the win today so that we can still have a chance at finishing top five, which we’ve done and to do it in the manner that we have is probably more pleasing.

“Keighley put us under the pump for long periods in that game but our defence held strong and we came up with some plays in attack, so I’m really pleased.

“I was always confident, even though we’ve lost in the past couple of weeks, we’ve shown some really positive signs against some really good teams so I was confident if we played 60 or 70 of the 80 minutes, we would come out with a pretty good result and I think we did that.”

The win against the Cougars allowed Thunder to taste success following four consecutive losses in the Super 8s and while the defeats were disappointing, Payne now thinks that his side will benefit from a three week schedule that saw Thunder face the teams sitting first, second and third in the table.

He added: “It didn’t seem like that at the time, but on reflection it may help us out a bit playing those really tough games before we play our three main rivals in terms of top five. 

“We looked good today, we looked strong and we looked fit so they must have done some good.”

With away trips to Doncaster and York up next the battle to claim the fifth and final playoff spot is promising to be an exciting one, with Payne

“We’re put through so many tests over the course of the season whoever is there come the end deserves to be. Doncaster and York had a good dig at each other and shared the spoils and it just means that we’ve got to go to Doncaster and we have to win.”

Saving his final thought for the debut performance of Adam Bielby, Payne concluded: “I was really proud of Adam today; he had a real good dig all day.

“Keighley swapped some big guys around to get at him but he stayed strong and did himself really proud. Hopefully he has a good career ahead of him.”

Payne praises positive Thunder win