‘Spanner’ – No worries

Date published: Friday, June 14, 2013
LEE Spencer will have no worries about throwing Dan Brotherton in at the deep end when Oldham play South Wales in Neath on Sunday.

As his boss in a previous life at Salford, Spencer has every confidence in the lanky, 6ft 5in dual registered winger to look down on the Scorpions and do what’s required of him.

Brotherton (21) is said to be a player of genuine pace, who used it extensively when becoming the Salford reserve team’s top try scorer in 2012.

‘Spanner’ (Spencer) coached that team and says this of the rugby union convert from Northampton’s junior academy:

“He’s an out-and-out finisher, but he’s also good defensively and in the air.

“With Jon Ford on one side of the field and Dan Brotherton on the other we’ll have a fair bit of size in the backs and it will give us a lot of aerial power.”

As Brotherton and the other new recruit, Anthony Bowman, have had only one training run-out with the Oldham squad, Spencer intends to find time at tomorrow’s final session of the week to take them on one side and acquaint them with the Roughyeds’ systems and structures.
Head coach Scott Naylor has warned that Scorpions will be just as formidable as Crusaders were last week.
And there’s a belief in the Roughyeds camp that the Welsh side will have the opportunity to make maximum use of their dual-reg agreements with Wigan Warriors on a weekend when there are no Super League games because of the England v Exiles game at Warrington tonight.
Six Wigan youngsters are listed on the Scorpions website as dual-reg members of their first-team squad.
Connor Farrell, the youngest at 19, is injured, but James Greenwood (ex-Saddleworth Rangers), Greg Burke, Jack Murphy, Sam Powell and Jack Taylor might all be available for selection.
It was highly-rated Powell (20), who dropped the goal that gave Wigan a one-point win at Widnes in last Friday night’s TV game.
Added Spencer: “Wigan played a load of kids and it’s possible a few of them will be sent down there this weekend to get a game for the Scorpions.
“We’ll face another tough challenge, but I’m sure we’ll be up for it.”
Scorpions could have as many as four players making their home debuts in the first game at The Gnoll for seven weeks.
Stand-off Grant Gore, centre Matthew Wilcox, former Neath RU prop Gerwyn Price and new signing Billy Sheen from North Wales Crusaders will all be especially keen to impress.
If the Sheen deal is completed in time, he and Gore will probably form a talented new half-back pairing, for which coach Dave Clark has high hopes.
Said Clark: “If we have aspirations to be in the play-offs we’ve got to get something out of this game.
“Oldham are a good side, but we shouldn’t have lost to them in the Northern Rail Cup earlier in the year.
“We’ve rebuilt the squad since then and the boys will be going into the game with a positive attitude.”
Surely none more positive than Oldham prop Jason Boults, who will have special reasons for wanting to win this one . . . his 50th game in an ever-present run that stretches back for more than two years.