Tough decisions ahead for Scott

Date published: Monday, March 9, 2015

WITH cup ambitions still alive on two fronts, Oldham boss Scott Naylor admits he will have to face “tough decisions” in team selection relating to his three hookers.

All three played in the latest win against Coventry Bears —- a nine-try, 46-6 triumph in the third round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup at Whitebank.
Gareth Owen started; Adam Files replaced him off the bench midway through the first half; and Kenny Hughes got on, also off the bench, for the last 20 minutes.
There was one period of the game when Owen and Files were both on, Files at hooker and Owen, his fellow former Salford player, operating in a type of loose-forward role.
Common practice at Whitebank, as at many clubs, is to go into each game with two hookers, one of them on the bench.
Said Naylor: “We’re in a great position to have three hookers playing so well, but it’s causing me a problem.
“There isn’t any two standing out above the other. They’re all playing well, so tough decisions like ahead.”
Oldham go to Barrow Raiders on Sunday (2pm) in the second round (quarter-final) of the new iPro Sport League One Cup.
More changes are on the cards because Danny Langtree may be fit for his first competitive game of the season after hamstring trouble.
Nathan Mason was rested yesterday, while Naylor might also consider calling on dual-reg assistance from Huddersfield Giants.
If Oldham win at Craven Park, against one of the five sides relegated from the Championship at the end of last season, they will be only 80 minutes away from a final appearance at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool as part of the RFL’s Summer Bash for Championship clubs on the weekend of May 23 and 24.
The full second round draw is: York City Knights v Newcastle Thunder; North Wales Crusaders v Rochdale Hornets; Keighley Cougars v Swinton Lions; Barrow Raiders v OLDHAM.
After Barrow, Roughyeds will play their fourth round Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie on the weekend of March 21 and 22, the draw for which will be made tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6.45pm from the Provident Stadium, Bradford.