ROUGHYEDS fans travelling to the Coventry away game on Sunday (Sep 1) should note that the game will be played in Rugby at the home of Rugby Lions RFU, Webb Ellis Road CV22 7AU, kick-off 3pm.
The venue is described by Rugby Lions as the “home of rugby” — an obvious reference to the unproven, and perhaps mythical, story that the handling sport was born when William Webb Ellis ‘picked up the ball and ran’ during a football game at Rugby School.
Hunslet’s last-gasp 34-30 win at London Skolars last Friday night — their winning try was scored in injury time — has kept alive the Yorkshire club’s hopes of finishing above Roughyeds’ in the play-off line-up.
Assuming Scott Naylor’s men beat Coventry and Hunslet beat Workington Town at the South Leeds Stadium, both on Sunday, the Hunslet-Oldham game in South Leeds on Sunday, September 8 will be of huge significance in terms of play-off positions.
Roughyeds are currently two points ahead of Gary Thornton’s Hunslet but if the Yorkshiremen were to win it would go down to points difference as to which club finished the higher — and currently Naylor’s men have a small, and tantalising, advantage of a mere 11 points.
The scoring stats of the two clubs are remarkably similar.
Oldham have scored 571 points in their 18 Betfred League 1 games, while Hunslet have amassed 560. Defensively, both clubs have conceded 315, hence the Roughyeds’ 11-point overall advantage.
The message ahead of Oldham’s trip to the Midlands this Sunday, therefore, is the urgent need not only to win — that’s taken as read — but to pile on some points to reduce even further Hunslet’s opportunities to finish higher than Roughyeds in the final table.
Having won seven of their last eight league games, including victories against play-off rivals Workington, Newcastle and Doncaster, Roughyeds seem to be peaking at the right time.
And they have it in their own hands to finish second by beating Coventry and Hunslet to guarantee runners-up spot and to give themselves the best possible chance of going up to the Championship via the play-offs.
“We won’t take anything for granted against Coventry, but we know what needs to be done and we’ll be going flat out to do it,” said club captain Gareth Owen.
“Three wins ago I targeted five wins from the last five so it’s three down, two to go with a lot riding on the Hunslet game obviously.”