JARROD Sammut, one of the best and most exciting players outside Super League, stands between Oldham and a vital two points in the battle to avoid relegation from the KP Championship.
Half-back Sammut (29) will be Workington Town’s danger man and major threat when the Cumbrians come to Bower Fold on Sunday (3pm) in what for them will be a must-win game going into the eight-club Championship Shield.
They prop up the division with nine points — two fewer than Whitehaven and five fewer that Scott Naylor’s men — but they will be confident after beating relegation rivals Dewsbury Rams (22-20) and Whitehaven (30-28) in their last two outings, both at Derwent Park.
Despite losing loose-forward Karl Olstrum in the seventh minute — sent off for punching — they snatched victory against neighbours from a few miles down the Cumbrian coast with a try in the dying seconds.
Sammut then won the game with a conversion off the touchline — his seventh goal from as many attempts.
In their previous home game they drew 10-10 with Swinton Lions to spark a late-season revival, like the one that kept them up last year.
“They’ve struck good form at the right time, so we’ll have to be at our best to beat them,” said head coach Scott Naylor, whose Roughyeds were beaten at Derwent Park early in the season when two-try Sammut ran the show for Town, kicked Oldham all over the park and was the difference between the two sides.
Sydney-born, and of Maltese descent, he played in the NRL for Penrith Panthers before coming to England six years ago.
He played in Super League with Bradford Bulls and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and after a brief spell on loan with London Broncos, he went to Workington on dual-reg last year and then signed permanently for the Cumbrians on a contract covering 2016.
He is now being tipped as a marquee signing for new Canadian club Toronto Wolfpack, which will enter League One next season, coached by Paul Rowley with Brian Noble as director of rugby.
Cash-strapped Town pushed out the boat and gambled on Sammut’s skills keeping them in the Championship this year. He’s scored 122 points with 16 tries and 29 goals, but he’s a lot more to do yet if he’s to earn his keep and steer Town out of relegation trouble.
The Cumbrians will be desperate to win at Bower Fold, but to do that they’ll have to succeed where Batley Bulldogs, Featherstone Rovers, Dewsbury Rams, Swinton Lions, Sheffield Eagles and Whitehaven all failed.