USUAL rugby knocks apart, Oldham seemed to come through the 20-6 defeat at Featherstone relatively injury free as attention turns to one of their biggest challenges of the season — the visit of Bradford Bulls to Bower Fold.
Bulls arrive in Stalybridge on Sunday (3pm kick off) as league leaders and the only unbeaten side in the KP Championship following an incredible fightback against Leigh Centurions at the Provident Stadium.
They trailed 32-4 at one stage, but then hit back to level at 32-32 when Omari Caro scored on the last play of the game and Danny Addy stroked his conversion home off the touchline as the final hooter sounded in the background.
Sunday’s game at Bower Fold will create local rugby league history as the first time Oldham and Bradford have clashed in league competition since the formation of Oldham RLFC (1997) Ltd.
New signing Gary Middlehurst is unlikely to be ready for his debut this weekend and there will be checks this week on centre Tom Ashton, who didn’t train on Thursday after complaining of a bad knee, and on hooker Adam Files, who turned an ankle in training.
To fill the void left in the back division at Featherstone by Ashton’s absence, Jack Holmes moved inside from wing to centre and Jamel Chisholm came back on the wing.
Holmes took a heavy knock in the first half and had to leave the field with what appeared to be a neck injury, but he returned for the second half after being cleared by the duty doctor.
Although the defeat left Oldham with one win from four games played, it’s one win more than Workington, Swinton and Whitehaven, who are pointless and occupy the bottom three places.
Roughyeds also have the best for-and-against record of the bottom four teams.