Scott to pick from full-strength squad

​SCOTT Naylor will pick from a full-strength squad for Sunday’s big play-off clash with Doncaster at the Vestacare Stadium.

The game kicks off at 2pm for purposes of screening on the OuRLeague app.

The clean bill of health, confirmed at last night’s training session, means Declan Kay and Cameron Leeming will be in the selection mix, the winger after concussion and the centre after recovering from a hamstring strain which caused him to miss the win at Hunslet.

As his seven-year tenure as coach ebbs towards its close, Naylor and his players would love nothing better than to celebrate his departure on a high with promotion as the ultimate prize.

And with home advantage right through to, and including, the final, the mood in the camp reflects a home-sweet-home theme.

Roughyeds haven’t lost at the Vestacare Stadium in the league since Hunslet won last Easter and the only other Betfred League 1 reverse at home was against Workington on the opening day of the season last February.

“In both those instances we had the game won five minutes from the end and then let it slip, so we should have gone through the league campaign unbeaten at home,” said Naylor.

“We are definitely a more consistent side at home, and consistency counts for a lot in play-off rugby.”

The momentum gained from nine wins out of the last ten games should also hold Roughyeds in good stead, going up against a Doncaster side that is also in form, having put 30 points and 20 points respectively on Workington and Newcastle in their last two outings, both away from home.

Oldham had a blank weekend while Newcastle and Doncaster were knocking six bells out of each other but Naylor is not entirely convinced that was a good thing.

“It’s swings and roundabouts,” he said. “It’s good to have a break for getting players over bumps and bruises but on the other hand you lose bit of consistency and momentum.

“The lads chilled out last weekend and spent time with their families and now they’ve got to get back up again.

“Also, in the week leading up to the break we didn’t know whether we would be playing Newcastle or Doncaster so we couldn’t prepare as we would normally.

“We train and play according to the opposition, regularly tweaking things according to who we are playing.

“Play-off rugby definitely has a different feel about it but having said all that we are in the right mood, ready to go and looking forward to it.

“We are conscious, obviously, that we have a second chance if things happen to go wrong, but that’s far removed from our preparations for this one.

“The immediate target is to get to the final and we want to do it on Sunday at the first time of asking.”

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