Kingstone Press Championship Round 6 Preview

Rochdale Hornets v Oldham – Sunday, March 12 (KO 3.00pm)

Rochdale Hornets became the first team to defeat Featherstone Rovers so far this season, when a 77th minute penalty sealed a 9-10 victory in a closely fought battle between the two sides last weekend. Coach Alan Kilshaw said,

“It was always going to be a tough game and the weather on Sunday didn’t help but from 1-17, we were outstanding.

“We had to do a lot of defending in the game, the penalty count was 15-6 against us and that tells its own story as to how much defending we had to do but we really dug in and we deserved to come away with the win.

“I think we learnt some lessons against Hull KR and Halifax and we were doing things that we’ve practised in the back end of the game against Featherstone that we haven’t done in the past few weeks.

“Any win is a good win, it doesn’t matter who it’s against but I rate Featherstone as one of the top teams in this competition and there’s not many teams that will go there and win. We won’t get carried away with it though and we’re now focused on Oldham.

“Oldham are a very good side, they’ve a very hard team to beat and they grind away, they don’t make many mistakes. They’ve only won one game so far but I don’t think form really matters when it’s a derby game, especially an Oldham v Rochdale one. It’s about those 80 minutes on Sunday only and the past three or four results don’t really come into it.

“We play Oldham three times this season and each game we’ll approach differently. We want to get those points on the board on Sunday before we play them at Summer Bash in May. It’s important for us to get the win this weekend.”

Oldham’s game against Dewsbury Rams last weekend was called off due to pitch conditions on Sunday.

Speaking about the postponement Coach Scott Naylor said,

“Having the week off from playing has its positives and negatives. I hope it does affect our continuity because we were shocking against Hull KR.

“You might lose a bit of consistency in what you’re doing but it’s not a bad thing to have a week off, it means we should go in to the weekend’s game against Rochdale fresh and with no real injury problems.

“I think last weekend’s game against Featherstone was tough for Rochdale, it was a similar score line when we played there and they’ll be battle hardened because they’ve played.

“We’ve always had some big games against them, we’ve had a couple of seasons in different divisions and now we’re back in the same one, it’s good for the game. The fans love it and it’s good for the lads to play in a derby game because it’s always good to play your main rivals.

“I think you can get carried away when it’s a derby game, there’s a lot of chest pumping but personally I’d just like the weekend to be a good game of rugby.

“It’s the first time in the season campaign that we play each other and I’m sure it’ll be a good game.”

Across the rest of the Kingstone Press Championship, Toulouse Olympique XIII will be looking to continue their home form and build on their first away win against Halifax last weekend, when they welcome Swinton Lions to the Stade Ernest-Argelès on Saturday evening.

Hull Kingston Rovers will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the table with a win over Dewsbury Rams and Featherstone Rovers will be hoping to return to winning ways when they travel to face Sheffield Eagles.

In the remaining fixtures of the weekend, Halifax RLFC take on London Broncos and Bradford Bulls welcome Batley Bulldogs.

Oldham RLFC face Rochdale Hornets at this year’s Summer Bash at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool on Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28. Ticket information can be found on our Summer Bash page.

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