‘Faster start needed’ – ScottDate published: Wednesday, August 19, 2015
OLDHAM aim to be faster out of the traps than they were in their last two games when they play Barrow at Whitebank on Sunday.
At Hemel Stags it was six apiece after half an hour before Roughyeds got into their stride to score 12 tries in a 70-6 victory canter.
There was another slow start at Newcastle where Thunder led 10-4 at half-time only for the League One leaders to show their mettle in the second half and win 28-16.
“In both games we were a little bit off the pace early on and it’s something we need to look at,” said coach Scott Naylor.
“We spoke about it at training last night. We need to get back to the performance levels we reached in the wins against Keighley, York and Rochdale (the last three home games) and that means respecting our possession and working a little bit harder right from the start.”
In pursuit of their 11th win in a row, Oldham are at home for only the second time in six weeks, during which time they’ve prevailed at London Skolars, North Wales Crusaders, Hemel Stags and Newcastle Thunder, running up 153 points in total and conceding only 34.
Added Naylor: “Barrow desperately need to win here to get back into the top five for play-off purposes so its a massively important game for both clubs.
“They beat us at Craven Park in the reverse fixture and they lost only 18-17 at Keighley last week (they led by nine points with five minutes left) so they’ll be coming with confidence.
“It’s going to be another big challenge for us and another tough game.”
Danny Langtree, who took a blow to the ribs at Newcastle, will be fit, but young prop Elliott Liku didn’t train last night because of a sore shoulder. He will be reassessed later in the week.
Wingers Adam Clay (broken ribs) and Jack Holmes (strained foot), who have each missed the last two games, are expected to be fully fit and back in contention for the final home game of the regular season against Swinton on September 6.
Clay trained with the squad last night, but he hasn’t done any contact work yet, while Holmes is said to be “progressing well”.