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Diskin looking to put things right against the Bulls

MATT Diskin is looking to his Oldham players to respond positively to their poor performance in a 52-12 Coral Challenge Cup defeat at Widnes.

Next Sunday (March 1) they’re back in Championship business with a key battle against Bradford Bulls at Bower Fold (3pm) and he expects them to play with the passion and desire that was missing at Widnes but which was very much in evidence in the last Championship game at Whitehaven.

Well though Widnes played on the back of their outstanding quartet comprising of full-back Jack Owens, halves Danny Craven and Matty Smith and hooker Logan Tomkins, it is hard to imagine they would have scored nine tries if Roughyeds had played with the commitment and unbridled self-belief they produced in Cumbria.

They must not fear Bradford; nor must they give them too much respect which they may have done in both meetings with the Vikings in the past few weeks.

Said Diskin:

“When things go horribly wrong, rugby league allows you to have the opportunities to fix them very quickly and against Bradford next Sunday we’ll be looking to put right the wrongs of this performance.

“To be honest, the way in which we started each half was embarrassing and it didn’t end there. Throughout the game a lot of our one-on-one defence was very poor indeed.

“The only consolation is that this wasn’t a league game. The league is our priority and I think we’ll see a different Oldham side in action against the Bulls.

“There were one or two areas which I wasn’t happy about at all and we’ve got to get that out of the dressing room very quickly indeed.

“We had little or no field position. especially in the first half, and you can’t come to a place like Widnes and expect to be in the game when you’re coming out of your own end all the time.

“I think we had the ball once, maybe twice, in the first 20 minutes and that’s not good enough.”

His injury problems continued too. Prop Ben Davies, playing his first game of the season after back problems, did a good 20-minute stint off the bench in the first half but then had a recurrence. His back muscles seized-up during the interval and he took no further part in the game.

Danny Bridge went off with head and neck injuries early in the game, but returned after quarter of an hour, completed the game and was one of the side’s better players on the day.

Another casualty was young forward Matthew Fletcher, who went down awkwardly in a second-half tackle and picked up a painful shoulder injury which caused him to leave the field for the remainder of the game.

All the injured will be given as long as possible to prove their fitness ahead of the Bulls game and Diskin will also hope to have at his disposal dual-reg centre Jack Croft and on-loan forwards Titus Gwaze and Jimmy Beckett, who didn’t play at Widnes because that would have cup-tied them and made them ineligible to play for their parent clubs in later rounds of the Challenge Cup.

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Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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