After a deflating defeat to Whitehaven in round 11, Oldham will be wanting to get back to winning ways against a Featherstone side who were also beaten last weekend. The Rovers lost out to a Leigh Centurions side who will have breathed a huge sigh of relief as the final hooter sounded at the Big Fellas Stadium.
Last Time Out
In a low-scoring contest at the Recreation Ground, the Roughyeds were on the receiving end of a 14-6 result against Whitehaven. However, it was the visitors who scored first in the tie through Jack Holmes after five minutes. The conversion was successful from Lewis Palfrey. But Whitehaven hit back with a vengeance. Chris Taylor and Craig Calvert posted tries later on in the second half and their side went into the break with a 12-6 lead. The defences were firmly on top in the final 40 minutes and the only points that were scored came courtesy of a Louis Jouffret penalty goal. After a brilliant few weeks where everything went right, Oldham had crash landed back on earth.
Featherstone came close to defeating Leigh in round 11 but the Centurions’ class just about showed in the end as Neil Jukes’ side triumphed 30-24. The Rovers went into an early 8-0 lead following an Andy Ellis try and Kyran Johnson penalty goal before Leigh struck with four consecutive tries. Tom Armstrong, Jamie Acton, Rangi Chase and Lee Smith all touched down for the visitors, who were 22-8 ahead at the break. Smith’s try was scored when Leigh were at a numerical disadvantage after Gareth Hock was sin-binned in the dying embers of the first half. Acton soon followed Hock to the sin-bin for an attempted trip in the 44th minute and the Rovers were primed to take advantage. Bradley Tagg and Misi Taulapapa made it a four point game with a try each and Johnson levelled matters on the hour with Featherstone’s third score of the half. But, as they have done in the past, Leigh turned up the heat when it mattered and a Liam Kay try, followed by Martyn Ridyard’s only penalty goal of the game, was the difference between the teams by the end of the tie.
Prop forwards Phil Joy and Jack Spencer have really excelled in the Championship with Oldham and they will only get better as the season goes on. Their challenge at the weekend is to take on the likes of Darrell Griffin and Andy Bostock, who both have a lot of experience in either Super League or the second tier. The forward battle will be an intriguing one at the weekend as the Roughyeds have already toppled Batley, Sheffield and Dewsbury at Bower Fold this season.
It’s always tough to predict a result against Oldham nowadays after they’ve proven their Championship status with great performances in the past month or so. Featherstone will be highly motivated to avoid this banana skin and keep up their assault on the top four, and especially Batley who they have a game in hand over – Featherstone by 16