‘Spanner’ Plea to fans

Date published: Thursday, September 12, 2013

PLAYERS and coaching staff want Oldham RL fans to be the team’s 18th man in Sunday’s play-off clash with Rochdale Hornets at Whitebank.

Coach Scott Naylor and his assistant Lee Spencer were in a Spotland crowd of only 320 when Rochdale beat London Skolars 26-24 last Sunday to set up a fifth derby head-to-head in less than seven months.

Said Spencer: “It was a pitiful attendance for a play-off tie, and one that was in stark contrast to our last two Whitebank crowds which topped 1,200 for North Wales and 1,100 for bottom-of-the-table Gloucester.

“With such a lot riding on Sunday’s game we’d like to think we could get our biggest crowd of the season and perhaps even a best-ever attendance at Whitebank.”

The record stands at 1,275 for a play-off clash with York City Knights three years ago. Roughyeds won 41-32, but met them again in the final two weeks later and were beaten 25-4.

Added Spencer: “We’re hoping this will be our last game of the season on home soil and it’s an opportunity for the town as a whole to turn up in force and give us a rousing send-off.

“A four-figure crowd at Whitebank can provide an intimidating atmosphere because spectators are so close to the pitch.

“Let’s make home advantage count. If our fans are loud and proud it will make a massive difference.”

Referee Gareth Hewer of Whitehaven, who handled last week’s Rochdale-London game, will again be in charge.