OLDHAM RL Club’s players and coaching staff are closing ranks

Date published: Thursday, June 9, 2011

OLDHAM RL Club’s players and coaching staff are closing ranks after the shock 30-0 drubbing at Doncaster and are ready to come out fighting against South Wales Scorpions at Whitebank on Sunday (3pm kick off).

I’m confident we’ll bounce back,” said coach Tony Benson, who supervised a dressing room inquiry this week into the whys and wherefores of everything that went so horribly wrong at the Keepmoat Stadium.

It was only five weeks ago that Roughyeds ran in eight tries and rattled up 46 points against the Dons to merit a comfortable victory in the reverse fixture at Whitebank.

That was the day Lucas Onyango ruptured his Achilles tendon in the warm-up, necessitating last-minute team changes and the call-up for his debut off the bench of rookie back-row man Michael Ward.

Despite these distractions, Roughyeds led 16-10 at half-time and went on to build a 40-14 lead before finishing 46-24 up with a side that featured 14 of the 17 players who were ‘nilled’ by the same opponents last Sunday.

John Gillam, Chris Clarke and Ward were the absentees last Sunday, replaced by Shaun Robinson and Marcus St Hilaire in the backs and Andy Isherwood in the second-row.

“As a team we suffered a big setback,” said Benson.”No one was too pleased about what happened, but the mood on Tuesday was upbeat and positive.

“We understand why it happened and we are working hard to rectify it.

“There will be selection changes to freshen us up a bit and everyone is eager to get back on the pitch and to put things right against the Welsh on Sunday.

“I would like to publicly thank the fans who followed us to Doncaster and who stuck with us to the end despite the very difficult circumstances.

“Loyal support like that is greatly appreciated by everyone at the club and the players hope to repay that loyalty at Whitebank on Sunday.”

Ben Heaton, Neil Roden, Ben Wood, Danny Whitmore and Martin Roden were all assessed for knocks they picked up at Doncaster, and they will be examined again later in the week.

It isn’t known yet whether new signings Mark McCully and Bruce Johnson will be considered for Sunday or whether they will be involved with the Reserves who go to Halifax tomorrow (Fri) night for a 7.30pm kick-off at The Shay.

+Roughyeds are running a day trip to Wembley on Saturday, August 27 for the Carnegie Challenge Cup final. The coach will leave Oldham at 8am and return straight after the game.

Cost per person is £50, which includes coach travel and a match ticket valued at £26 for an area which will be reserved for Oldham fans.

To book ring Janet on 0161 628 3677 asap. A non-refundable £25 deposit is required, cheques made payable to Oldham RLFC.