Robbo “struggling”

Date published: Wednesday, September 10, 2014
BRETT Robinson, who has an ankle injury, is struggling to make Oldham’s play-off clash at Hunslet, but the good news is that everybody else is expected to be fit.
“We’ll know more on Thursday, but so far so good,” said coach Scott Naylor after last night’s training session at Oasis Academy Oldham.
George Tyson (knee), Steve Roper (knee) and Lewis Palfrey (thigh) are edging towards full recoveries and Naylor expects them to get the all-clear.
He added: “There are one or two niggles among the others, but nothing to keep anybody out.
“We’ll be going with a strong team, but it’s not looking good for Robbo (Robinson), who still has a lot of discomfort in the area of his ankle and shin bone.”
Oldham have moved swiftly to dispel any notion that a Friday night fixture with an 8pm kick-off, an arrangement over which they had no control, won’t suit them.
Said chairman Chris Hamilton: “That’s the last thing in our heads. The stadium isn’t available on Saturday or Sunday and Hunslet obviously didn’t fancy the idea of playing the game at Whitebank, so we go over there on Friday night, roll up our sleeves and get on with it.”
Backing his chairman’s view, Naylor said the Friday night issue wouldn’t even be discussed among players and coaching staff.
“It’s the same for both teams,” he added. “And unlike Hunslet we didn’t have a long-haul game in South Wales last weekend.
“We are not used to Friday night football or the short turnaround, but nor are they and, after all, it’s an 80-minute contest by two teams on a piece of grass whenever or wherever you play.”
Hawks boss Barry Eaton said: “The five-day turnaround between matches on the back of a long journey and at the end of a tough season with lots of travelling could take its toll.
“The players know that, but we’ll take it on board, assess the situation and look forward to the game.”
Hunslet winger Gavin Duffy, who scored five tries in South Wales, goes into the big game as Kingstone Press Championship One player of the week.
Roughyeds have two representatives in the team of the week, Jon Ford and Steve Roper, while the Hawks have three — Duffy and back-row pair Luke Briscoe and Liam Mackay.
Top team: Reynolds (York); Ward (Gloucester), Ford (OLDHAM), Cook (Hemel), Duffy (Hunslet); Roper (OLDHAM), Rowland (Oxford); Fairbank (Gloucester), Smith (London), Bell (York), Briscoe (Hunslet), Tonks (York), Mackay (Hunslet).