Cup tie at Hunslet beckons

Date published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
OLDHAM Rugby League Club aim to pull off a Tetley’s Challenge Cup shock at Hunslet Hawks on Sunday in the hope of landing a decent pay day in the next round.
A split third-round gate at the South Leeds Stadium (3pm kick off) will offer little in the way of financial comfort to either club, both of which will be banking on a chance to pull a more lucrative tie in round four.
Hunslet lie 10th in the 14-club Kingstone Press Championship — one division higher than the Roughyeds — with three wins from nine league games.
They lost each of their two games over Easter, going down 28-12 at Batley Bulldogs and 22-18 at home to Keighley Cougars.
Said Oldham chief Chris Hamilton: “A cup run can be a big help financially, particularly in the current climate, so Sunday’s tie is a very important one for the club.
“It’s a big test for us away from home against a team from a higher division, but we expect a good response from the players after Friday’s defeat by Rochdale in our first league game. We’ll be going to Hunslet to give it our best shot.
“If we don’t get through it will be tough to take from the financial point of view.”
Roughyeds will beĀ facing professional opposition in the third round for the first time since the ‘new’ club was established in 1997.
Over the last 15 years they have beaten 14 amateur clubs plus the Army at this stage of the competition.
In that period they have gone out eight times in round four, six times in round five and once in round six (quarter-final) when they lost at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in 2008 after beating the Army at Aldershot and then winning at Swinton Lions and Dewsbury Rams.
They have faced numerous Super League clubs, among them Wakefield (2001 and 2008), St Helens (2002 and 2012), London Broncos (2003), Warrington (2004), Harlequins (2007) and Hull FC (2011).
They lost at Hunslet in round four in 2010, watched by a crowd of 540, yet last season’s fifth-round tie at St Helens pulled in more than 5,000 in a nice little earner for the Roughyeds.
Over the years little or no money was made from the ties against amateur clubs, but they at least provided a passage to more lucrative challenges further on in the competition.
* Roughyeds’ new boy Liam Thompson, who has had a shoulder operation, may get his long-awaited debut in the under-20s side which plays Rochdale at Whitebank on Friday (8pm). A final decision will be made later in the week.