Leeds pair return to Headingley

Date published: Monday, July 30, 2012

WITH four league games left with which to push for a play-off spot, Oldham have waved farewell to Colton Roche and Daniel Smith.
Roughyeds boss Tony Benson wanted to keep the Leeds Rhinos youngsters on dual registration beyond July 31 but instead they will devote all their energies into making an impression at Headingley.
Roche, a centre or back-row forward, has played only a couple of games for the Championship One side, but prop Smith has been a regular in the Roughyeds front-row over the last few weeks.
Benson has kept in touch with Barrie McDermott, head of youth development at Leeds, but they were unable to sort out an extension to the original agreement.
Said Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton: “We’ve not seen much of Colton anyway because of his commitments at Leeds.
“They’ve told Daniel they will not be signing him again for next season. He’s devastated, and has decided to leave us and go back to Headingley in a bid to prove them wrong and to win them over.
“We would like to thank Leeds, and the two players, for helping us out.”
Rochdale’s heavy defeat by Whitehaven at Spotland may prove decisive in assuring the Cumbrians of the fourth and final promotion spot.
With four to play, they are six points clear of fifth-placed Rochdale and sixth-placed Oldham, while the next club down, London Skolars, are only two points behind.
Oldham have arranged an extra game for the under-18s, whose last scheduled match of the season was called off last Saturday because Hunslet couldn’t raise a side.
Bitterly disappointed, Oldham quickly contacted Halifax who will now bring their under-18s to Whitebank this Wednesday, August 1 (7.45pm kick off). Admission will be £4 adults and £2 concessions..
Said club chairman Chris Hamilton: “We are grateful to Halifax for jumping in at the last minute. Fax are of the same opinion as us — that these boys should be given as many opportunities as possible.”
Coach Phil Costin added: “Rugby league at this level is about development and you can’t development anything if you don’t get enough games. Thanks to Halifax, we’ve got our last game on Wednesday at Whitebank and it would be encouraging to see lots of fans down there.
“We’ll be fielding a young side — a lot of the lads are only 16 —but they will give a good account of themselves.”
On the following night, the reserves play at Halifax (8pm) which will be a battle of 2 v 3 for the right to enjoy home advantage in the play-off.
Fax hammered York 62-4 last time out which lifted them to second with 18 points and one to play..
By demolishing York they turned an inferior for-and-against record to that of the Roughyeds into a superior one so they are now two league points ahead with a better points difference by +27.
If Fax win they will clinch second place to Featherstone and claim a home game in the play-off against the side finishing third.
For Oldham to finish the job on the night they would have to win by 14 points.
If Roughyeds were to win by less than 14 they would still need at least a draw at York in the final game to give Paul Ashon’s men a play-off tie against Fax at Whitebank for the right to go to Featherstone in the final.