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Nick knows where the line is

Nick Rawsthorne in action against Rochdale
Nick Rawsthorne in action against Rochdale

NICK Rawsthorne’s try in the corner against Midlands Hurricanes last time out gave him ten tries in eight appearances for Oldham since his arrival in mid-June, not only underlining his thirst for tries but showing that the former Toronto Wolfpack winger has re-gained the form that, earlier in his career, earned him contracts with Hull FC and Hull KR.

There is no doubt, however, that his best seasons were with Toronto Wolfpack in 2018 and 2019 when Rawsthorne, now aged 27, scored a total of 27 tries in 34 appearances, including 18 touchdowns in 20 games in 2018 when Wolfpack topped the Championship with 20 wins from 23 games.

His career totals are 69 tries in 95 outings — excellent statistics for a player who has always known where the line is and who is looking forward to this Sunday’s play-off clash against Doncaster at the Eco-Power Stadium, a huge, 15,000 capacity, football ground which we used to know as the Keepmoat Stadium, in which Doncaster Rovers AFC also play and which has housed the Lionesses in a Women’s World Cup Qualifier, three Rugby League World Cup games and some big music festivals.

Rawsthorne had a short spell on loan at Doncaster before he went to Canada so he’s not exactly unknown to the Dons, nor will he be unaware of the stadium’s wide open space out near the touchlines.

He was born in Halifax, writes ROGER HALSTEAD, and he grew up playing Union for Leeds Carnegie Academy, representing England Academy from under-16s to under-18s, later turning pro for his hometown Rugby League Club, Halifax. He joined Hull FC in 2017 and made three Super League appearances for the black-and-whites before joining Toronto on a two-year deal covering 2018 and 2019.

His form in Canada attracted the attention of Hull KR, whom he signed for 2020 and 2021 and then it was back to Halifax, from whom we signed him back in June.

He didn’t have the best of starts, failing to score on debut against Doncaster in a defeat at the Vestacare Stadium on June 18 and then missing “a cert” at Dewsbury in game two when we lost again.

Since then, though, he has failed to score in only one of six games and he has scored seven tries in the last four games, including a hat-trick in the derby against Rochdale at the Crown Oil Arena and two against Workington Town at Boundary Park.

He won our man-of-the-match award against Hurricanes, chosen by Nicola Robinson of Amari Plastics of Middleton Junction, our main sponsors, and said:

”It was a bit frustrating, but its now up to us to put it behind us and make amends in the play-offs."

Rawsthorne’s ten tries place him only four behind our top try scorer, Patrick Ah Van, who is third in the league list.

The Yorkshireman is up there after only eight games and that, more than anything, shows how well he has settled in here and, hopefully, how well he will do in the play-offs.

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