Roper, Thompson to be assessedDate published: Tuesday, February 16, 2016
OLDHAM are counting the cost of their gutsy performance at Leigh where half-back Steve Roper and replacement prop Liam Thompson were forced to quit in the first half after each had taken a bang to the head.
They will be assessed at training tonight ahead of Sunday’s visit by Dewsbury Rams to Bower Fold, Stalybridge (3pm).
Head injuries have to be carefully monitored, in some cases involving statutory head tests, so it may not be known until later in the week whether Roper and/or Thompson will be fit to face the Rams.
If Roper were to miss out it would be an ideal opportunity to bring back new signing Danny Grimshaw, but he will also be checked out tonight after missing the first two league games with ankle and calf injuries, which he suffered in the Law Cup win at Rochdale.
Early last week Roughyeds thought the 29-year-old former Hunslet Hawks man was going to be ready for a call-up at Leigh, but that was found not to be case when time arrived for a final decision.
Craig Briscoe, another new boy this season, has had a scan on the knee he damaged in the pre-season win at Barrow and the club expects to get the results in the next couple of days.
As partner club Huddersfield Giants currently have a long injury list, dual-reg players have not been available to Oldham for their opening two league games.
Four young players from the John Smith’s Stadium, who played for Roughyeds at various times last season, Jake Connor, Josh Johnson, Nathan Mason and Oliver Roberts all played for Giants in their 18-13 defeat by Wigan at the weekend.
In addition, Mikey Wood, a 20-year-old forward who played for Roughyeds in two of this year’s pre-season outings, was one of the 19 players from whom coach Paul Anderson named his 17.
Giants don’t have a game this weekend so that might work in Oldham’s favour against a Dewsbury side that currently stands fourth in the Championship with two wins at Swinton Lions and at home to Workington Town.
In his three seasons in charge of the Rams, coach Glenn Morrison has made similar progress to that enjoyed over the equivalent time span by his Oldham counterpart Scott Naylor, albeit at a higher level.
Dewsbury finished sixth last year and say they no longer approach every season anticipating a relegation fight as they used to before Morrison took charge in 2013.
Roughyeds fans wishing to use subsidised travel to Stalybridge with the club, leaving from Whitebank at 1.45pm (£1.50 return) need to ring 07904 898177 to book.