Oldham relish humble home advantage

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The Independent Online
Rugby League


Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home - especially, it seems, when home is as irredeemably humble as Watersheddings. Visiting sides detest the place, to the point of grumbling with some justification that playing anything called Super League there invites action under the Trades Descriptions Act.

Oldham take a different view of the dilapidated ground at which they play Leeds this evening; they know it frequently gives them an edge.

Their coach, Andy Goodway, has not gone quite so far as to claim they would have beaten Wigan in their opening match if it had been played there rather than at Boundary Park. But he makes no apology for saying that it would have been much closer.

Since then, they have beaten Halifax at Watersheddings and come away from Paris with a draw that should have been a win, all of which suggests that they are not the pushovers that their first effort implied.

Goodway will have to find a replacement for the winger, Rob Myler, who has a broken jaw, but Leeds, without a single point so far this season, could be in for another trying time.

"It's a very uninviting place to go," Hugh McGahan, the Leeds manager, said. "Oldham have a big, rough pack of forwards and have shown that they are not going to be also-rans."

Leeds' own pack is without Neil Harmon, but Adrian Morley returns after injury.

Paris St-Germain, at home to the pointless Workington Town tonight, are also without a broken jaw victim, their Australian stand-off, Todd Brown.

The London Broncos coach, Tony Currie, has dropped two players from tomorrow's side to play at Sheffield after they arrived late for training. The scrum- half, Leo Dynevor, and the forward, Russell Bawden, have both been omitted after Currie described their excuse that their bus was late as "pathetic". Kevin Langer and Justin Bryant come into the line-up.

Wigan, who go to Castleford tomorrow, are willing to transfer their vastly experienced prop forward, Kelvin Skerrett, in order to try to bring their wage bill within the salary cap that is to be introduced.

Wigan, who will face a reunion with their former goalkicker, Frano Botica, if he recovers from a side strain, will have one potential taker in Warrington, who have admitted chasing Skerrett, while his former club, Bradford, who meet St Helens tomorrow in a Wembley dress rehearsal, could also be interested.