Back in Top Six

Date published: Monday, August 20, 2012

OLDHAM RL have crept back into the top six thanks to their battling 28-18 win against Workington at Whitebank.

Their one remaining game, on Sunday, September 2,  is at bottom-club Gateshead Thunder, who have lost each of their 16 league games and have conceded, on average, 46 points a match.

If Martin Roden’s men win on Tyneside, seventh-placed North Wales Crusaders won’t be able to catch them, nor will eighth-placed London Skolars if they fail to beat Whitehaven at home on Friday night in the only Championship One game to be played next weekend because of the Carnegie Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

London are two points behind Oldham with a game in hand, but after playing Whitehaven their final game is also at home against current leaders Doncaster.

They would have to win both those games to push Oldham out of the play-offs so long as the Roughyeds don’t slip up in the North-East.

“We’ll be going to Gateshead aiming to win. Everything else is out of our control. What will be will be,” said a philosophical Roden.

He revealed that his players can stand by for a lot of hard graft in training this week because, astonishingly, they were penalised 19 times in the win against Workington, mainly for high tackles and interference at Workington play-the-balls.

He said: “I sent a message on to the effect that we had to clean-up our act in the rucks.

“We just about turned it round in time because the last four penalties of the game were in our favour and that was decisive.

“For every penalty we concede, the players will be penalised in training.

“I don’t blame the referee. It’s something we need to sort out. And I won’t be changing my policy of making players pay for penalties on the training ground just because we happened to win.”