No charge for Owen and Middlehurst


ROUGHYEDS have received a double tonic ahead of the Bank Holiday Monday clash with Sheffield Eagles at Bower Fold (3pm kick-off).

Second-row forward Gary Middlehurst and hooker Gareth Owen, who were both sin-binned in the second half at Bradford, will receive no further sanction from the RFL.

As part of the RFL’s normal disciplinary procedure, their cases went before the sport’s Match Review Panel for video review, the outcome in each case being ‘No charge’ with the added rider that spells in the sin-bin were sufficient punishment.

After a team warning, Owen was given a yellow card for a high tackle in the 67th minute but “contact was open-handed with minimal force.”

Four minutes later Middlehurst disputed a referee’s decision “but did not use abusive language or behave in an aggressive manner.”

Sheffield boss Mark Aston. meanwhile, has told the Sheffield Star he fears more players will jump ship if Eagles don’t move quickly to resolve their proposed takeover.

He said he had already lost two players for next season and if, as expected, the club reverts to a part-time operation, current full-time contracts would be up for re-negotiation.

Scott Naylor and Aston, the rival coaches, will both be looking for positive responses, Naylor after a heavy defeat at Bradford and Aston following a narrow home defeat by Swinton Lions.

Roughyeds will be hoping home advantage tips things in their favour, given that they have already beaten Dewsbury Rams, Kells, Batley Bulldogs, Sheffield, Featherstone Rovers, Whitehaven, Swinton Lions and Workington Town at Bower Fold in this their first season of Championship rugby.

Said Scott: “Eagles won’t want to lose two in a row and since we beat them at their place a couple of months ago they’ve been playing a lot better.

“We have to make a positive response after what happened at Bradford, and I feel sure we will do just that.”

Other games on Monday: Dewsbury Rams v Bradford Bulls; Swinton Lions v Workington Town; Whitehaven v Halifax.

If Roughyeds make it three wins in a row against the Eagles and both Cumbrian clubs lose on the Bank Holiday, there will be much rejoicing because we will be safe from relegation with three games still to play.

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