OXFORD Rugby League head coach Tony Benson says there were still positive signs in their 47-28 defeat at Gateshead Thunder.

Oxford were sunk by a poor 13-minute spell in the Kingstone Press Championship 1 clash.

But Benson remains optimistic ahead of Sunday’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup third round match at Hunslet Hawks.

Benson (pictured) said: “I was very encouraged with what I saw though, and if we can maintain this for the whole game we will be hard to beat.

“The players are improving week on week and I am expecting a reaction next week.”