Keeping up the good work

AFTER their headline-grabbing cup heroics at Hull KR, Scott Naylor’s Oldham return to the bread-and-butter basics of Championship rugby at Whitehaven on Saturday (6.30pm kick-off).
Three tough games in a row — two against full-time professionals and all three ending in Roughyeds’ wins —-  might have earned the players a less demanding training session last night.

They didn’t.  “Why would we want to ease up now ?” responded Naylor when asked about this week’s training.

“The Hull KR tie has gone.  It’s over and done with. We’ve got a tough game at Whitehaven on Saturday and all our focus is  now on that.

“We’ve trained normally — as hard as ever.”

Only two of the 17 who caused a massive cup shock on Humberside, Jamel Chisholm and Kenny Hughes, didn’t train last night. They both have sore ribs, but they might be fit to play at the Recreation Ground nevertheless.

It was the last 17 standing who won a place in tomorrow morning’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup sixth round draw (Radio Four from 8.30am onwards), but Naylor will have options this time.

Prop-forward Joe Burke, cup-tied, is eligible for this one, while the Roughyeds boss will also have the use of dual-registration players from Huddersfield Giants again if, indeed, he wants to go down that route.

Jack Holmes, who damaged an ankle at Swinton on Easter Monday, might also be back in the mix.

For the first time since then, he trained normally last night. If he suffers no reaction and is able to train again tomorrow night, he will be in contention.

Jon Ford (knee) is waiting for an injection early next month. He has been advised by a specialist not to do much for the time being.

That leaves Tom Ashton and Craig Briscoe, both of whom trained partially with the squad last night and partially with the conditioners.



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