IN looking forward to his first Law Cup derby, Oldham boss Matt Diskin needs no reminding that ANY game featuring Roughyeds and Hornets has its own special intensity.
Oldham’s new team boss, the Leeds Rhinos hooker for nearly a decade, was brought up on Leeds-Bradford derby clashes and as coach of Batley Bulldogs for the past three years he’s experienced the pride and the passion that surrounds games involving Batley and Dewsbury Rams, writes ROGER HALSTEAD.
“In my two months with the Oldham lads it’s been obvious that the Law Cup is also a big deal,” said Matt. “The result is a lot more important than it was at Barrow last week.
Players and fans are really passionate about beating Rochdale and owning bragging rights.
“We have some real quality in the squad and we need to build on what we achieved at Barrow, especially in the first 20 minutes.
“It’s the sort of match that requires a fine balance between coming away with a win and doing what’s needed to prepare for the Championship.”
Roughyeds will take 18 players to the Crown Oil Arena — the same as last week minus centre Cameron Leeming, who pulled a hamstring in the second half at Barrow and is considered doubtful for the first Championship game against Widnes Vikings at Bower Fold, Stalybridge on Sunday, February 2.
Ben Davies is still out with a back injury, while Jode Sheriffe has had a precautionary scan on a knee injury to make absolutely certain that it isn’t a major problem.
The 18 on duty at Rochdale are Harry Aaronson, Dan Abram, Liam Bent, Danny Bridge, Adam Brook, Lewis Charnock, Dave Hewitt, John Hutchings, Daniel Igbinedion, Kyran Johnson, Phil Joy, Declan Kay, Danny Langtree, Gareth Owen, Ed Smith, Jack Spencer, Matty Wilkinson, James Worthington.
Most Oldham fans will get their first glimpses of new signings Abram, who scored two tries at Barrow, stand-off Charnock, centre Worthington and forwards Hutchings and Igbinedion.
From about 1.15pm onwards there will be a function in the lounge hosted by ‘Braddy’ and in the form of a reunion of the Rochdale and Oldham teams that met in a Second Division game in 1989 in front of a crowd of more than 8,000.
The Oldham full-back that day was Gary Hyde, who will be interviewed on stage by ‘Braddy’.
The Past Players’ organisations of the two clubs will also be well represented, the Roughyeds contingent including Kevin Taylor and Adrian Alexander.