Oldham RLFC Update

Date published: Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WINGER Shaun Robinson’s superb three-try performance in the Reserves last time out might win him a place in Tony Benson’s Oldham RL plans for Sunday’s fourth-round Carnegie Challenge Cup tie against Barrow Raiders at Whitebank (3pm).

With a few players nursing knocks and others suffering a dip in form at Rochdale, Benson is sure to consider players who didn’t figure in the 18-10 defeat at Spotland such as Robinson, centre Matthew Fogarty and utility back Mark Brocklehurst.

Robinson hasn’t played senior rugby since he damaged a hip on the opening day of the league season at Workington five weeks ago, but he was in sizzling form in the second team’s 30-16 win against York.

Benson had the opportunity in that game to look also at Fogarty, Brocklehurst and young forwards Michael Ward and Liam Gilchrist.

They might all be in the mix for a cup call-up as well as the 17 who were beaten at Rochdale, plus dual-registered prop Matty Syron and the 18th man at Spotland, utility forward Valu Bentley.

Bentley is itching for a taste of the action after being out since February with knee and elbow injuries.

Benson has no shortage of options but he will give skipper Neil Roden (dead leg), centre David Cookson (dislocated finger) and back-row man Paul Smith (blurred vision) until nearer weekend to prove their fitness.

Barrow boss Darren Holt is in a similar situation.

After the Raiders’ 32-26 defeat at Whitebank 11 days ago he made half a dozen changes in a side that beat Gateshead Thunder 40-12 last Friday.

The most significant were the recall at centre of Aaron Low, who looked good and probably did enough to keep his place on Sunday, and the choice at hooker of James Dandy ahead of Liam Finch and Jack Pedley.

Pedley (shoulder) and prop Andy Bracek (knee) face fitness tests later in the week, but player-coach Holt is available again after missing the Oldham and Gateshead games with a calf injury plus a one-game suspension.

The Raiders, best supported team in Championship One, will have the backing of several bus loads of fans and expect to bring considerably more than they did for the league game.

Roughyeds fans wanting seats, which are now on open sale, are urged to hurry because they will be in big demand by Barrow supporters.

Ground tickets are also on sale from the Lansdowne Road office (0161 628 3677) until 5pm on Friday.