Date: Sunday 14th June
Venue: Whitebank Stadium
Oldham missed out on the chance to go top of the Kingstone Press League 1 table last week and will be out to bounce back against Oxford on Sunday.
They lost at Whitebank stadium for the first time this season as they made it back-to-back losses for the first time this season.
Coach Scott Naylor was disappointed with the 38-28 loss to North Wales Crusaders last week and will be hoping for a response from his side this week to stop the rot.
“North Wales are a good team and we let ourselves down a little bit,” he said. “It was the same the week before against Keighley, so we’ve put together two poor performances back-to-back.”
Whether his side are playing top or bottom of the league it doesn’t matter to Naylor, as all that really matters to him is the performance and the result.
“It doesn’t matter who we play, we’ve got to get back to playing good rugby, doing the right things and working hard. This week will be about getting the win and playing well because the week after we’ve got Swinton.”
Oxford have their tails up as they climbed to ninth and just three points off the top five with their late victory against basement club South Wales Scorpions.
It wasn’t the perfect performance but Tim Rumford, the Oxford coach, was happy with the way his side toughed it out and managed to battle hard for the victory.
“It was a real tough win,” commented Rumford. “They haven’t been too far away in most of the games and they really tested us, particularly in the middle, they never stopped coming. They were pretty good and will probably win a few games as the season progresses.
“For us it was a win for character, we stuck to our plan and even going into the last 10 minutes I thought we looked real strong. We came up with some really tough stuff at the end to get the win.”
Oldham are at the opposite end of the table and will give Oxford a chance to see if they can compete with the best clubs in the division, with Rumford insisting that they could come up with a shock win if they play as well as they know they can.
“Oldham is a tough challenge for us but it’s a chance for us to benchmark ourselves and see how much progress we’ve made. It’s come at a good time for us, we’ve got to be competitive and complete our sets at a high percentage again to give ourselves a chance of causing an upset.”
Prediction: Oldham to win by 20 points.