Our ‘hunger and desire’ – Spanner

Date published: Tuesday, July 2, 2013

OLDHAM RL Club’s chances of finishing in the top two of Kingstone Press Championship One have improved significantly.

They remain in second place, four points behind leaders North Wales Crusaders, who have yet to come to Whitebank on Sunday, July 28.

But the three teams directly beneath Scott Naylor’s men, Rochdale, Oxford and Hemel Stags all lost to Crusaders, Gloucester and South Wales respectively.

This opens up a five-point gap between Oldham and the chasing pack, making Roughyeds firm favourites at this stage to lead the play-off group of five even if they can’t overhaul the leaders.

The Roughyeds’ camp is firmly of the belief, however, that they are still in the fight for top spot and that Crusaders CAN be caught.

“Our boys are full of hunger and desire,” said assistant boss Lee Spencer.

“They are easy to coach because they are keen to learn and they have a passion to play the game as Scott (head coach Naylor) and I want them to.

“I have every confidence in them to make a real fight of the promotion challenge.”

The fact that Rochdale, Oxford, Hemel, London Skolars and South Wales Scorpions are split by only three points shows how competitive this division is.

The next test for Oldham is on Sunday at Oxford, the side coached by former Oldham boss Tony Benson, who masterminded a 16-14 win at Whitebank in April which gave the home side its biggest letdown of the season so far.

Three Oldham players picked up knocks in the 44-12 win at Gateshead Thunder.

Skipper Lewis Palfrey and Kenny Hughes were taken off as precautionary measures with the Oxford game in mind, and prop Liam Gilchrist had to leave the field in the first few minutes with a calf injury.

He will be assessed at training this week.