Sutton blow

Date published: Friday, June 11, 2010

BIG prop Luke Sutton and bustling back-row man Craig Robinson have each given Oldham an injury headache as table-topping Roughyeds get ready for Sunday’s clash with full-strength Doncaster at Whitebank Stadium (3.00pm kick-off).

Sutton, a tower of strength against Workington and Blackpool in his side’s last two games, has a knee injury which is feared might involve a cruciate ligament.

Robinson, who missed those matches with a thigh problem, is now thought to be suffering from a hernia.

Half-back Matty Ashe’s hip injury, which kept him out of the Blackpool game, is said to be “still sore”, while Ian Hodson, Mick Fogerty and Chris Clarke are trying to shake off knocks picked up in a tasty encounter with Panthers last weekend.

On the brighter side, Valu Bentley is ready to go again after a two-month absence with hamstring problems.

Ideally, coach Tony Benson would like his fellow Kiwi to have a run with the reserves after being out so long, but he may be forced to throw him in at the deep end if Sutton and Robinson are both ruled out.

“Several players will be checked on Saturday,” said Benson, who has warned that Doncaster will be just as tough as Blackpool were last time out.

Benson will be hoping for another classy performance from his halves, Neil Roden and Gregg McNally, whose initial one-month loan period from Huddersfield Giants expires after this game.

Roughyeds won 46-26 at the Keepmoat Stadium on May 3, but Tony Miller’s men are much stronger now.

The Dons boss will have a selection headache with prop Scott Johnson, centre Aaron Henry and prop James Bovill all back in contention after injuries.

“We’ll be the strongest we’ve been all season,” said Miller. “There are going to be a couple of disappointed people when I name the team. It’s a good position to be in compared with early season when we regularly had half a dozen down with injuries.

“Having options available means that I can take into consideration things like the opposition and the type of pitch we will be playing on.”

In a weekend double-header at Whitebank against opposition from south Yorkshire, Roughyeds reserves are at home to Sheffield Eagles tomorrow (Saturday) with a 3.00pm kick off.

John Hough’s men are seeking their third win in a row, having played plenty of slick rugby to put an aggregate total of 106 points past York and Hunslet in their last two games.