Roden considers his options

Date published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012

HAVING given Danny Langtree his senior debut in the side that beat Workington Town last time out, Oldham RL’s caretaker boss Martin Roden is ready to pluck another young hopeful from the reserves for the last game of the regular season at Gateshead on Sunday.

“I’ll have a better idea when the squad meets up again on Thursday, but at the moment I’m in danger of running out of forwards,” said Roden after a training session last night that was disrupted by injury, suspension and illness.

His confidence in Langtree was repaid several times over by the youngster’s sterling performance against the Cumbrians in a Roughyeds side that contained half a dozen players who had come up through the second team.

The former St Helens academy prop isn’t available this weekend, however, because he had booked a holiday in the belief that his season would have finished on August 18 after the reserve team’s appearance in the championship final at Featherstone.

Added Roden: “I might have to look at promoting somebody else from the reserves, but because their season ended nearly a couple of weeks ago I will need to find out first who is available.”

Two other forwards who made impressive contributions in the 28-18 win against Workington — Luke Stenchion (broken hand) and Jamie Acton (suspension) — are also ruled out of the trip to Tyneside.

Valu Bentley is still struggling with the calf injury that kept him out of the last game.

And to make things even more difficult for a harassed Roden, neither Bentley nor Alex Thompson were at training last night because each had gone down with a stomach complaint.

Roden was banking on Jason Boults and Liam Gilchrist being fully fit to spearhead a threat to Thunder from the front-row yet they also turned up for training last night with fitness concerns.

Boults is to have an x-ray on a suspected broken toe, while Gilchrist has had a gashed finger heavily stitched after an accident while working out in a gym.

Boults damaged the toe during the win against South Wales in Neath five weeks ago.

He has played in each of the three games since, but as the injury has shown no sign of improvement he has finally accepted that he ought to have the toe x-rayed.

“Whatever the outcome I’m sure Jason will be okay for Gateshead,” said Roden. “He’s been playing with the injury for the last few weeks, so I don’t think it’s going to stop hm now.

“Liam will play too, with the finger strapped.”

Roughyeds have submitted early guilty pleas on behalf of Stenchion and Acton, who were both charged with punching during a free-for-all at the end of the Workington game.

There will be no further action against Stenchion, but Acton will be banned for one game. Neither player will be fined.