Tony shows the players the error of their ways

Date published: Wednesday, March 30, 2011

TONY Benson and his Oldham RL players took a good, long look at themselves last night in the wake of Sunday’s 12-try mauling by Swinton Lions.

They watched a DVD re-run of the Lions’ 68-24 win — and then went through a process of self-analysis before setting team targets for the next two matches.

They go to Keighley Cougars on Sunday (3pm) and then have a weekend off before entertaining London Skolars at Whitebank on Sunday, April 17.

“We’ve laid down our goals for those two games and I expect a big improvement in performance,” said coach Benson. “We had a meeting last night at which there was some straight, honest and direct talking.”

Benson’s team selection for the Keighley game will again be governed to a large degree by who is available, such has been the Roughyeds’ cruel luck with injuries and illness over the last couple of weeks.

John Gillam, Ben Heaton, Luke Sutton, Matthew Fogarty, Marcus St Hilaire, Neil Roden and Tom Wood-Hulme all missed the Swinton game — and Gillam, Fogarty, St Hilaire and Roden have no chance of playing this weekend.

Full-back Heaton, who has missed the last two games after a severe attack of tonsillitis, is back in light training and he will be assessed later in the week.

Props Sutton (dead leg) and Wood-Hulme (back and neck) will also be checked out again before weekend, as will several players who picked up knocks in the Swinton game.

Jack Bradbury (dead leg), Shaun Robinson (dead leg) and Paul Noone (ankle) are all having treatment, but Benson is hopeful that all three will be ready to play at Cougar Park.

To add to the coach’s concerns, Ben Wood has gone down with flu and Martin Roden will have to be wrapped in cotton wool for the rest of the week after a recurrence of his hamstring problem.

“We’ll have a much clearer picture by Thursday night,” said Benson, “but in this type of situation we’ll be leaving some decisions for as long as possible.”

The Roughyeds’ game against South Wales Scorpions away on Sunday, May 15 (3pm) has been switched from South Wales’s normal home venue at Neath RU Club to Virginia Park, home of Caerphilly RU Club.

“There has been some confusion over this fixture because The Gnoll at Neath is not available to Scorpions on May 15,” said Roughyeds chairman Chris Hamilton.

“They asked if we would play on the Saturday, but they have now confirmed that the game will be played on the Sunday as originally scheduled with a 3pm kick-off, but at Caerphilly, not at Neath.

“Some of our fans have been waiting for this to be confirmed because they are planning weekend trips.”