IF Oldham’s game at Championship leaders Hull KR wasn’t tough enough, they go to KCOM Craven Park on Sunday (3pm) without any dual-reg support for the first time this season.
An injury pile-up at Huddersfield Giants means Roughyeds have to go it alone — and that at a time when Phil Joy is out with a dislocated shoulder and George Tyson is still working off his four-match suspension.
Coach Scott Naylor takes it all in his stride.
“It’s just one of those things, and we’ve got to get on with it,” said the Roughyeds boss, who will have to make at least three changes to cover for prop Joy and for Giants youngsters Tyler Dickinson and Sam Wood, who played prop and centre respectively in the side that pushed London Broncos all the way at Bower Fold last week before suffering a heart-breaking 20-18 defeat.
If on-loan Tuoyo Egodo has recovered from a chest injury that kept him out of the Broncos game, Castleford’s 20-year-old could return at centre or Naylor could either opt to play Sammy Gee in the back division or switch Keiran Gill inside and recall Jamel Chisholm on the wing.
It will be more difficult to replace Joy and Dickinson in the forwards, but Ben Davies and Liam Thompson will hopefully be ready to be thrown in at the deep end after working hard to overcome injuries.
Added Naylor: “This one’s going to be the toughest of the lot, but we’re battle-hardened and ready for it after our two most recent games against Featherstone and Broncos.
“A lot has been made of the money Rovers have spent compared to what we’ve spent, but at the end of the day it’s all down to what happens on the pitch.
“Everyone expects Hull KR to win, but they thought the same when we played them in the Challenge Cup last year, and look what happened then.
“They’ve spent a helluva lot of money and they’ll finish in the top two, but that doesn’t mean we go there with no chance.
“When we play well and do the right things we’ve shown already this season that we can live with the division’s top teams for the full 80 minutes.”