Play-offs still beckon

Date published: Monday, August 13, 2012

OLDHAM RL can still make the top-six play-off despite dropping to eighth after the 46-22 home defeat by Doncaster.

With two to play, Rochdale (25 points), North Wales (24), London Skolars (23) and Oldham (22) are in a neck-and-neck race to finish fifth or sixth.

Even allowing for their current troubles, however, few would back against the Roughyeds when considering the remaining fixtures of each of their rivals.

Rochdale play Barrow at home and Workington away.

North Wales have two away games at Doncaster and Whitehaven.

Skolars are at home twice to Whitehaven and Doncaster.

Martin Roden’s Oldham are paired with Workington at Whitebank next Sunday and then travel to Gateshead, who haven’t won a league game all season, in the final fixture on September 2.

“We’re still in the hunt, but I’m more concerned with improving our performance in time for the Workington game,” said caretaker boss Martin Roden, who knew before the Doncaster game that his temporary tenure of the head coach job will cease at the end of the season.

There was an injury scare near the end of the match when Lucas Onyango fell awkwardly in a tackle and took a severe blow to the chest which affected his breathing.

Physio Rachael Johnson called for the assistance of the club doctor. The game was held up for a few minutes while the winger received attention on the field, but eventually he was helped to his feet and led away without use of a stretcher.

The doctor reported later that Onyango had suffered damage to the chest wall, but said there were no major worries about his condition.

Roughyeds reserves played superbly at Halifax on Friday night to win 18-12 in a second v third play-off.

They will now contest a final for the second year in a row, travelling to play at top-of-the-table Featherstone Rovers on Saturday, 5.30pm kick off.