ONE of the key messages coach Justin Holbrook has been trying to drip feed into his packmen since he took the helm in May is for them to hunt in pairs.

And in recent weeks you can see that message is getting through, with Luke Thompson in particular showing how effective it can be in making inroads into a defensive line.

It is paying off and his recent try at Huddersfield, backing up Morgan Knowles, was a product of that.

And last week he was on the shoulder of prop colleague Alex Walmsley to take the perfect pass to storm the Hull line to give the platform for Theo Fages to put on the killer player for Mark Percival.

Thompson said: “Justin has stripped things back and tried to put things simply to us.

“With the middles he wants us running in pairs which has helped our go forward and off the back of that it gives ourselves a good shot.

“We are are always more effective as ball carriers in pairs.

“That is what put me in a position to score the try against Huddersfield.”

Thompson has been one of the real driving forces in a tough year, consistently giving the team some punch and aggression to the forward unit.

And he has gone from providing that off the bench to starting games at prop – and was pumped up for the physical challenge from start to finish against Hull last week.

Some players find it tough to adjust, but Thompson looks comfortable in both roles now.

“I have been trying to bring energy off the bench and keep the bar raised high off the starting middles.

“I just want to keep doing as well as I can and do my best for the lads,” he said.

This has been Thompson’s most consistent year to date and, particularly since the departure of Adam Walker, has become established one of the team’s four out-and-out props. And with that comes responsibility of keeping the bar set high.

With maturity the former Pilkington Recs and Bold Miners Junior is fulfilling the promise that prompted former boss Nathan Brown to give a Grand Final shot in 2014 ahead of more experienced players like Anthony Laffranchi.

Thompson made his debut on his 18th birthday – a defeat at London April 2013.

He was 19 when he came off the bench in that Old Trafford win over Wigan.

Great things were expected, but Thompson admitted that backing it up afterwards was tough initially.

“For me personally I think I struggled the year after.

“There was a lot of expectation on me,” he said.

“As a young lad they are always on top of you all the time to try and get the best out of you, which is good.

“But playing is about finding that consistency playing week-in, week-out.

“In my first year I only played seven games, in 2014 I played 14.

“After that you are expected to play week-in, week-out and it is hard getting that consistency playing every week at the top level first team and a a big step up from 19s.

“It is about getting used to that physicality every week and being consistent.

“I had my fair share of injuries too – shoulder and knee – but I am happy with my form at the minute and just trying to stay consistent with my form like I have been all year.

“I feel like I have found my feet at the minute,” Thompson said.