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Thunder unbeaten on the road

NEWCASTLE Thunder come to the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday (3pm) defending an unbeaten away record after recording wins at London Skolars, Coventry Bears and North Wales Crusaders.

They put 60 points past Skolars on the opening day of the season and rattled up 32 at Coventry the next time they left the North-East.

On the face of it, though, their best performance on the road was their 30-10 win at North Wales Crusaders.

Home form hasn’t quite matched up although they held Doncaster to a couple of points before losing to York and Keighley and then picking up their first home win of the season against Hunslet last Sunday.

Among their scorers in a 28-10 win on the artificial pitch at Kingston Park was winger Mo Agoro, who scored nine tries in 22 appearances for Roughyeds in 2013 and then averaged a try a game in 2014, when he registered 18 in as many appearances.

He was on the wing in the 2013 Grand Final against Rochdale, but didn’t figure in the 2014 final against Hunslet when the wing spots were occupied by Adam Clay and Dale Bloomfield.

He didn’t play in the three previous games either and he went on to sign for Hunslet, for whom he scored three tries in 13 games in the Championship season of 2015 when Roughyeds won promotion from League 1 and the Hawks, as they were then known, were relegated after only one season in tier two.

Agoro is now one of several dangerous attackers in a Thunder side that lies in fifth place on the same number of points as seventh-placed Oldham but with a better for-and-against difference.

Others to watch out for when they get a sniff of a break, or even a try, are full-back Tee Ritson, centre Joe Brown and stand-off Lewis Young, whose eye for an opening was a key element of Thunder’s win against Hunslet.

Ritson, of Thai descent, was previously at Workington, where he grew up and played for the Cumbrian Academy side before turning pro with Town.

Castleford-born Young played high-standard amateur rugby league with Redhill. Castleford Panthers and Featherstone Lions before moving to the North-East to study.

Big on development, Thunder have under-16 and under-19 teams, several of their senior squad members having come up through the system which encourages local Geordie lads to get involved with rugby league.

The senior squad is a mix of local talent, players from more traditional areas who have settled in the North-East and more experienced men who have been with other clubs.

Prop Liam McAvoy, for instance, toured Austalia with England Academy in 2012 when he was a junior at Bradford and Leeds. He has since played extensively for Workington.

Vice-captain Rhys Clarke, a big forward, has seen service with York City Knights and Whitehaven, while centre Tyler Craig and prop Jack Aldous have also played for the City Knights.

Thunder face a crucial few weeks in which they come to Oldham on Sunday and then face Bradford Bulls and Workington.

Coach Jason Payne said:

“Before beating Hunslet we played three sides in the top eight (Doncaster, York and Keighley) and lost them all. We felt we had under-performed and we now face a crucial few weeks when it’s as tough as it gets.”



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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

Download Application Form

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