Hull Seahawks coach Matty Davies striving to lift players in readiness for NIHL National play-off push

MATTY DAVIES admits a big part of his job this week – and also next probably – will be to lift his players’ spirits after their NIHL National Cup Final heartache.

The 5-1 loss in the second leg at Milton Keynes Lightning on Tuesday night – handing their opponents an aggregate 10-5 triumph – will have stung. And will continue to sting for a while yet.

Long assured they may have been of a place in the NIHL National post-season, but Davies needs to ensure his players rebound quickly to make it worth their while being there.

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They will take on 2023-24 league champions and play-off holders Leeds Knights and Bees IHC in Group A, with one other from either Telford Tigers or Peterborough Phantoms, depending on this weekend’s results.

BIG WEEKEND: Hull Seahawks' head coach, Matty Davies. Picture: Bruce RollinsonBIG WEEKEND: Hull Seahawks' head coach, Matty Davies. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
BIG WEEKEND: Hull Seahawks' head coach, Matty Davies. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Davies’ players have a long trip to Solway Sharks tonight before closing out their regular season schedule with a Yorkshire derby at home to Leeds tomorrow (5.30pm).

The rivals will then go head-to-head again next weekend in the first round of group play-off games, Hull travelling to Elland Road on Friday before the two resume hostilities in East Yorkshire two days later.

Davies would like his team to go into that opening post-season encounter in a good frame of mind.

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"It’s going to be tough for a lot of them to get over it, because they are going to be down about their performance,” said Davies. “But it is a big part of my job to get them back up.

“We need to get back to how I know we can play. We have to get back to getting that winning feeling and make sure we go into the play-offs in a positive frame of mind and with our game in the right place

“We know what Leeds are about, they are not going to come and take it lightly at ours on Sunday, they are going to want to take some momentum into the play-offs, too. So we have to get ready, match that intensity and do a job on them.”

Elsewhere, Sheffield Steeldogs bring the curtain down on a dispiriting campaign when they head to newly-crowned National Cup winners, Milton Keynes.

They will then close out the season at home against Bees, who secured the eighth and final play-off spot last week.