Jason Boults

Date published: Friday, July 20, 2012

JASON Boults will make his 150th Oldham appearance in South Wales on Sunday and he is determined to make it a milestone to remember.

The durable front-rower has averaged 25 games a season over six seasons with Roughyeds and his name is still one of the first to go up on the team sheet every week.

“The last two months have been tough,” said the 28-year-old former Halifax prop, who came to Oldham for the start of the 2007 season.“As I see it, we’ve done enough losing for one season. And the way we came back to beat London Skolars (seven points in the last three minutes) should give us a lot more confidence when we take on the Scorpions.

“There was a lot of pressure on us in the London game and from a fan’s point of view it must have been good to tell that we hadn’t won for a while.

“All the players are disappointed that we are not where we should be.

“Injuries and suspensions haven’t helped, but as a group we know that we are a lot better than we have been playing and we feel sure that we can go down to Neath and do the business.”

A lot of water has passed under the Roughyeds bridge since the Yorkshireman made his debut against Rochdale Hornets in February, 2007.

Of the 19 players travelling to Neath on Sunday, only two were around back then —– Boults and Neil Roden.

Said Jason: “It makes me feel old when I see all the young kids coming through, but I hope I’ve got a few more seasons yet because I still enjoy playing rugby.

“Win or lose, I always try to give of my best and I don’t find the sport any harder than it used to be —- it just takes me longer to recover from knocks.”

Boults’s fellow prop David Ellison didn’t play against Skolars because of work commitments and he is similarly out of bounds this weekend.

Said coach Tony Benson: “Elly has been exceptionally busy at work over the last week or two. He managed to get to training on Tuesday, but he wasn’t able to get across for the Thursday session.”

Winger John Gillam, who was 18th man last Sunday, and young Alex Thompson, who can play anywhere in the pack, are added to the side that beat Skolars to make up the 19 to travel.

Squad: Bentley, Boults, Clarke, Clough, Cookson, Dallimore, Foxen, Gilchrist, Gillam, Greenwood, McCully, Murphy, Noone, M Roden, N Roden, D Smith, P Smith, Thompson, Ward.

Benson has no fitness issues to worry about but, as was the case last week, in-form full-back Miles Greenwood might have to withdraw if his wife goes into labour in the next 24 hours.

Said the Oldham boss: “In those circumstances I wouldn’t expect Miles to play, especially so far from home.”

Roughyeds drew 36-36 at The Gnoll in a Northern Rail Cup round in February and the Welshmen won 35-30 at Whitebank in a league fixture at the end of May.

Said Benson: “The players have had a spring in their stride this week — always a good sign.

“Scorpions are always difficult to beat at home, but we are determined to follow up last week’s win with another one on the back of a good, all-round performance.

“They pushed Barrow all the way a couple of weeks ago. We are wary of them.”

Scorpions expect to be at full strength, apart from Steve Dallimore, who has a broken finger.

Said coach Dave Clark: “Four of our next five games are against mid-table opposition so that’s an opportunity to pick up points.

“Oldham have been struggling, but their win last Sunday will have given them a huge boost. The game is a big challenge for us.”