Edwin’s magic moment

Date published: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
YOUNG centre Edwin Okanga-Ajwang scored his first try in senior rugby in Oldham’s nail-biting 18-16 win at London Skolars.
The 19-year-old, who is at Whitebank on season-long dual registration from Salford Red Devils, intercepted midway through the first half and showed a clean pair of heels to the Skolars defence to score from from long range.
It was a magical moment for the Leeds Carnegie sports student, who has only lived in England for the last nine years.
Born of a Polish mother and a Kenyan father, he had neither seen nor heard of rugby league until he went to primary school in Halifax at the age of ten.
He made his debut in senior rugby off the bench in Oldham’s cup win at Egremont, but he was in the starting line-up for the first time at Skolars.
“It was a fantastic feeling to score my first try at this level,” he said. “I could see I had a chance to intercept as the ball came across the Skolars line so I thought I’d go for it. I had a fair way to run, but I made it.”
That try, and a brilliant try-saving tackle in the dying seconds by winger Mo Agoro, were key moments in a win which keeps Oldham in second place in Kingstone Press Championship One.
With eight points from a possible nine they are one point behind York City Knights, who have won each of their three games to date.
Roughyeds are without a game next Sunday, which will be welcomed given that Liam Thompson, Dave Cookson and Adam Files are all on the injured list.
Coach Scott Naylor can’t afford any more injury setbacks ahead of the fourth round Tetley’s Challenge Cup tie at Bradford Bulls in two weeks.
Though still unbeaten Naylor’s men have not yet found their best form.
Experienced forward Mark Hobson believes there is no cause for concern. 
“We started last season even slower than this one,” he said. “At this stage last year we had lost our first two home league games to Oxford and Rochdale, and then we got our act together and went on to lose only one more game in the whole of the regular season.
“This time around we are playing some dumb football at times and it is costing us. But we are second in the league and we haven’t been beaten yet.
“I think it’s only a matter of time before we start to gel again and start to play as well as we did for most of last season.”