Big-match preview

Summer Bash: Oldham v Swinton Lions (Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, 3.00pm Sunday)

Despite losing 12-6 at Halifax, Oldham coach Scott Naylor was pleased with his side’s performance. He said: “Conditions were a bit slippery because of the drizzle, which made it a forwards-based game. It was all about field position really. Halifax have a fantastic pack and I thought my lads matched them but it ended up being a completion-type game. Neither team really looked like scoring many points. We kept Halifax pointless in the second half but being 10-0 down at half-time was probably too big a hill to climb.”

Looking ahead to playing Swinton Lions at Summer Bash he said: “It’s an important game of rugby, but I always think the lads should enjoy an occasion like this and make the most of it. These kind of things are very good for the game and you don’t know how many chances you’re going to get to play in these kinds of occasions.

“But the main focus is to try and win the game. Swinton have played Leigh and Bradford in their last two games, which is almost an impossible task for anybody. In the games before that they’ve been outstanding, they score a lot of points, they’re a really good attacking team. They’ve got experience and really good speed and are well coached.

“I’ve been really impressed with them lately, they’re not the same team they were last year and I don’t think they’re the same team they were at the beginning of the season, they’ve got better and better as the season has gone on. They’ve added a lot of quality to their team and seem to be in a confident mood and Summer Bash is their kind of occasion where it’s dry and they can play fast, flowing rugby. It’s up to us to stop them doing that and implement our type of game. It’s going to be interesting and we’re looking forward to it.”

Swinton Lions were beaten 48-6 at home by Leigh Centurions. Coach John Duffy said: “I thought we had a dig, our intent was there, then things got a bit touchy and there were a few incidents in the game. We could have been a bit smarter.

“Obviously we had the experience of Summer Bash last year. It’s a fantastic concept and we’re looking forward to going there, but it’s a massive game. Oldham are playing well, they’ve had a great season. Both clubs will be looking for the win.”

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