Latest Reserve News

Date published: Thursday, July 28, 2011

COACH John Hough will have tough decisions to make tonight (thurs) when he selects his Oldham RL Reserves side for Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash with Leigh Centurions at Whitebank Stadium (2.30pm kick off).

Including friendlies, second-placed Leigh are the only team in the Reserves Under-23s Championship which third-placed Oldham have not beaten at least once this season. The Roughyeds’ last defeat was a 30-26 reverse at Leigh in May.Since then Hough’s heroes have won six and drawn one of their seven matches, including a 28-22 away win against league leaders Widnes, their only defeat.

Hough has targeted four wins from four remaining games against Leigh and Dewsbury at home and Sheffield and Whitehaven away — and if that were to be achieved Roughyeds would be guaranteed a second-place finish and a home play-off match.

“We’ve made two or three additions to the squad in recent weeks, and competition for places is hot,” he said. “The boys know they have to produce quality performances if they want to be in the side for the next game.

“Competition brings out the best in players. We played some of our best rugby of the season in the first half of last week’s 50-14 win against Whitehaven, but we’ve now to reproduce it against the one team we’ve still to beat this year.

“We’ve got a couple of injury doubts but, those apart, I’ll be picking from a 21-man squad and I’ll have some tough decisions to make. That’s how I like it, and that’s how it should be.”

Winger Zac Cotton is doubtful with a shoulder injury, but possible replacements include Lewis Brookes and former Rochdale RU winger Danny Chetwynd, who has missed most of the season but recently returned to the club on completion of the academic year at Durham University. Also added to last week’s squad are Phil Joy and Rob Spencer.

New loan signing Paul Brearley (19), a Peter Crouch look-alike who stands 6ft 6in tall, is likely to keep his place at centre after making his debut last Saturday against Whitehaven.

He has joined Roughyeds on loan from Warrington Wolves to the end of the season.

Team (from): Nield, Cotton, Williams, Brearley, Bridge, Brookes, Chetwynd, Dallimore, Connick, Eyres, Hughes, Gilchrist, Dean, Knight, Thomson, Whitmore, Wood-Hulme, Langtree, Barber, Joy, Spencer.