MAN-OF-THE-MOMENT Danny Langtree keeps his place in the latest ‘Rugby League World’ magazine’s Betfred League 1 team of the month, but this time he is joined by on-loan Roughyeds winger Lee Kershaw.
It’s a huge accolade for the Wakefield Trinity youngster (20), whose fellow winger in the mythical line-up is Bradford’s Ethan Ryan (22), the new Betfred League 1 Young Player of the Year.
Bradford-boy Kershaw and Bulls academy product Ryan will be directly opposed in Oldham’s Betfred League 1 play-off semi-final at Odsal on Sunday (3pm).
Wakefield have high hopes of the exceptionally strong Kershaw, who clinched his place in the team of the month with a hat-trick of tries in Oldham’s 46-18 win against London Skolars last week.
Similarly, Ryan is being tipped by Bulls boss John Kear to be a future Super League star. He finished the regular season with more League 1 tries than anyone else, 32.
Their clash in the promotion semi-final will be one of several intriguing head-to-head duels, not least that of Hull FC-bound Danny Langtree and Bradford’s pack star Elliot Minchella in the second-row.
Like Oldham, the Bulls have only two men in the top team — Ryan and back-row man Matty Storton — while Newcastle Thunder, who finished the regular season in blistering form, have four: full-back Theerapol Ritson, centre Lewis Young, half-back Matty Beharrell and prop Jack Aldous.
Team: Ritson (Newcastle); Ryan (Bradford Bulls), Hunt (North Wales), Young (Newcastle), Kershaw (OLDHAM); Cockayne (York), Beharrell (Newcastle); Aldous (Newcatle), Ellis (York), Ryan (Coventry Bears), Storton (Bradford Bulls), Langtree (OLDHAM), Forster (Whitehaven).
Bulls, meanwhile, have named a 19-man squad which shows three changes from the league game at the Vestacare Stadium two weeks ago.
Gregg McNally, Matt Garside and Sam Hallas didn’t play at Oldham, but they’re back for this one as Kear goes for his strongest possible line-up.
Bulls (from): Chisholm, Crossley, Egodo, Flanagan, Garside, Gibson, Green, Hallas, Hitchcox, Keyes, Kirk, Lilley, McNally, Minchella, Peltier, Pickersgill, Ryan, Storton, Wood.
“We don’t need reminding about the challenge we face — we found that out for ourselves a fortnight ago.
“Hopefully, we can have a fast game on a big playing surface in front of our own supporters, whom we need more than ever.
“Our support could be the difference.”
His club chairman Andrew Chalmers added:
“We saw enough in both our league games to know that Oldham have enough discipline and toughness to trouble anyone.
“Former Bulls player Scott Naylor has done wonders with the scant resources at his disposal, year after year producing competitive teams.
“Welcome to the drama of ‘seats of your pants rugby’ which is sudden-death rugby league.”