Joy — back within three weeks

Date published: Friday, April 21, 2017

OLDHAM have been stunned by a decision of the RFL’s match review panel to charge Richard Lepori with a grade ‘B’ offence of making contact with a match official.

The Roughyeds full-back and referee Liam Moore seemed to accidentally run into each other at a time when Oldham were under heavy pressure against Swinton on Good Friday, defending their own line.

Lepori is one of nine Championship or League 1 players to be charged with a variety of offences.

He will be free to play at Featherstone on Sunday in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, but his case will then go before the disciplinary committee next Tuesday.

Said Roughyeds boss Scott Naylor: “I’ve seen the incident on video and it was a pure accident.

“The referee positioned himself in the Oldham in-goal area while ‘Lippy’ was trying to defend a kick-through. The referee had his back to him and then he stepped into Richard’s path.

“The referee got himself into ‘Lippy’s’ line of movement — a pure accident.”

On a brighter note for Roughyeds, injured prop Phil Joy could be back in action within the next three weeks.

He has missed eight games with a dislocated shoulder, but after his latest scan, he has been told by his consultant that he can play again soon if he so wishes.

Said Naylor: “He’s still got a lot of work to do on rehab, but Phil is very professional in everything he does.

“With the supervision of our conditioning and medical teams he will work hard for two or three more weeks and he will then be ready to play.

“He will give himself the best possible chance.”

An update on Jack Spencer (ribs) is also positive. He has been told he can play when he is free of pain — a verdict that means he will be targeting a return early next month.

Added Naylor: “All the boys have stood up well to the demands of Easter, which is huge credit to our medical and conditioning teams.”