OLDHAM RL players will need no motivating before they tackle a Swinton Lions side that has already beaten them twice in the KP Championship this season.
So says coach Scott Naylor in the build-up to the third meeting of these derby rivals at Bower Fold on Sunday (3pm kck-off).
The Lions are three points and three league places better off than Roughyeds, but they’ve won only two of their last eight games, including a 25-24 defeat of Naylor’s men in a controversial Summer Bash clash at Blackpool.
John Duffy, the Lions’ boss, has described Sunday’s Bower Fold showdown between the teams that were promoted from League One last year as “another cup final”.
Naylor, still smarting from the way Roughyeds relinquished a 20-0 half-time lead to lose at Bloomfield Road, said: “There’ll be no need for me or anyone else to give the players a pep talk before this one.
“Swinton have beaten us twice and what happened at Blackpool is still a tender subject and one it will take us a long time to forget.
“The lads have been talking about this return match for the past couple of weeks.”
Apart from Jack Spencer (shoulder) and Gary Middlehurst (broken finger), the club has a clean bill of health.
Players on duty in the 24-16 win at Sheffield came through unscathed and Naylor will also consider the claims of Jack Holmes, Steve Roper, Sam Gee and Adam Files.
“There’s also a possibility of more dual-reg players being made available to us, so I’ll have some tough selection decisions to make,” added Oldham’s boss.
In the absence of injured hookers Anthony Nicholson and Vila Halafihi, Swinton have been playing Wigan Warriors’ under-19s hooker Luke Waterworth, but there’s a chance Halafihi will be back.
Prop Andy Bracek will also be available to return to the side, while Connor Dwyer will have a late fitness test.