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“Defence will be key” — Horne

​BETFRED League 1’s second-best attack goes head to head with the division’s second-best defence when Oldham entertain Doncaster at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday (2pm) for the right to go straight through to the promotion Grand Final.

Only third-placed Newcastle Thunder (741) scored more points than Oldham’s 655 in the 20-match regular season.

Champions Whitehaven, who go up automatically, conceded fewer points than anyone else (283), but Doncaster came next with 309.

Oddly, Doncaster beat Roughyeds 31-0 at the Keepmoat in June, while Scott Naylor’s men replied with a 40-14 win at the Vestacare last month.

“Embarrassing”

was Naylor’s description of his side’s hammering in South Yorkshire.

“I’ve never questioned the boys’ attitude before, but it wasn’t there today,”

said Donny boss Richard Horne, summing up the heavy defeat in Oldham.

Since those two dark days for the away teams , both have come good.

Roughyeds have won nine of their last ten on a charge that carried them to runners-up spot in the final league table.

Donny have also been in striking form, scoring 30 points at Workington on the final day of the league campaign, followed by 20 at Newcastle Thunder in their first play-off clash.

Just as crucially, they restricted their opponents to one try apiece — Caine Barnes for Workington in the 76th minute and Alex Clegg for Thunder in the 78th.

Said Horne:

“We are basing our game on how good our defence is and we are scoring points off the back of that.

“We had to manage the ruck tempo at Newcastle otherwise they would have been hard to stop because they had so much speed.”

They failed to boss the rucks the last time they played at Oldham and it was largely due to the domination of the game by the home side’s “middles” that Gareth Owen and Matty Wilkinson were able to leap out of dummy half and cause so much destruction.

Whether they can do it again remains to be seen.

It also remains to be seen which coach is the more fortunate in terms of player availability.

Roughyeds are keeping fingers crossed that centre Cameron Leeming (hamstring) and winger Declan Kay (concussion) will be ready in time.

Vibes coming out of the Donny camp suggest they may have one or two problems.

Key man Batty Beharrell twice had running repairs to a knee problem while masterminding the win at Newcastle and Horne has since said: “This is a huge week for us. We will see where we are at with bodies, but we will prepare exactly the same.

“We will look to adopt a game plan which gives us the best chance of going to Oldham and getting the right result.”

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Club Cash

SINCE Covid-19 caused us to temporarily abandon door-to-door CLUB CASH lottery collections last Spring there’s never been a better time to come on board and help Roughyeds to get through these hugely challenging times.

Why? The £500-a-week rollover jackpot is back — not only that there are now TWO £50 prizes and TWO £25 prizes in addition to the first prize of £1,000, a second prize of £100 and ten consolation prizes of £10.

But the return of the jackpot is the big lottery news. It’s back this week and it’s been won first time out, so next week’s jackpot is again £500 but if nobody touches lucky it will go up to £1,000 the following week and increase by £500 a week, if not won, to a maximum of £10,000.

We have seriously missed the regular income from collections on the doorstep, but we cannot thank too much those supporters who have got behind the club in these unprecedented times of hardship by keeping their Club Cash memberships going or, indeed, by joining for the first time, knowing that for £1 a week they can help the club to combat Covid and prepare with confidence for the challenges of Betfred Championship rugby in 2021.

You can send a cheque to cover a set number of weeks; take out a bank standing order — our preferred option; complete a bank transfer; or pay for several weeks up front by credit or debit card.

You can download a standing order form by clicking on the link at the end of this news release and following the instructions or you can contact our Club Cash administrator John McAndrew (tel: 07980 129541; email: mcandrewj@aol.com) or speak to the club direct on 07904 898177 or email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The easiest way, though, is to download a standing order form below. The latest prize updates are shown on the form as follows (all for £1): £1,000, £100, £50 (2), £25 (2), a number of £10 consolation prizes and the £500-a-week rollover jackpot.

Best of luck!

Download Application Form

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