HAVING picked up each of their four Championship wins at home, Oldham will be looking to send Leigh Centurions the way of Dewsbury, Batley, Sheffield and Featherstone when the league leaders head to Bower Fold on Sunday (3pm kick-off).
For fans who don’t travel away, it will be the last chance to see Scott Naylor’s men in action until Bradford Bulls are at Stalybridge in a rearranged fixture on Wednesday, June 15 (8pm).
In between, Roughyeds hit the road to Halifax, to Blackpool for the Summer Bash game against Swinton Lions, to Batley Bulldogs and to Dewsbury Rams.
Given that their only away win all season was at Hull KR in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, the next five weeks could go a long way to determining where they finish at the end of the regular 23-match programme and, consequently, whether they get three or four home games in the end-of-season 8s.
No pressure then, come Sunday against Leigh, to bring to a successful end a home run of four league games at Bower Fold out of the last five.
Since London Broncos won 22-0 at Stalybridge on the opening day of the season in early February, only Halifax have lowered Oldham colours on home soil in the league, so they can approach the Leigh game in confident mood even though it looks like being their biggest challenge so far on their own patch.
Joe Burke, cup-tied against Warrington Wolves, will be back to stiffen the front-row and there seems little doubt that efforts will be made to again bring in dual-reg players from Huddersfield Giants, who have provided Roughyeds with the services of young front-rower Tyler Dickinson on several occasions already this season.
Danny Langtree might also be back after ankle trouble, but a decision won’t be made until nearer weekend.
Leigh, unbeaten in 11 league games, will provide formidable opposition and will have had the benefit of a weekend off while a depleted Roughyeds side was putting in a mighty effort against Warrington in the cup.
They expect to have centres Willie Tonga and Greg Worthington back after injury and they will be out to regain their best form after their standards have dipped in recent weeks.
They lost 10-8 at Toulouse in the Challenge Cup and since then they have won 30-24 at Featherstone and 37-30 at home to Batley, but only after coming from behind to hit the front with two late tries.
Said coach Neil Jukes: “Individual errors are killing us. We’re top of the league without playing great, but there’s a lot of improvement in us and we need to get it sorted before the Middle 8s.”