Rugby League: Only Oldham are standing in the way of Wigan: Bradford's hopes of First Division title rest with rivals

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The Independent Online
PETER FOX is hoping for one of the most unlikely results of the season this weekend, but Bob Lindner, the Oldham coach, feels he will be unable to deliver it, writes Dave Hadfield.

Oldham would earn themselves the freedom of Bradford if they could beat Wigan and deny them a fifth successive championship tomorrow.

But Oldham were celebrating First Division survival last Sunday and even Lindner, who will talk to the club about staying for another season next week, finds that scenario difficult to envisage. 'It is hard to imagine, because it means so much more to Wigan,' he said.

Fox, who has guided Bradford into the top three for the second season after they narrowly avoided relegation themselves the previous year, does not expect Oldham to oblige. 'Wigan are safe now, unless there's a miracle, which I don't expect,' he said.

Bradford hope to have Carl Hall and Gerald Cordle fit to play at Leeds today, but Paul Medley and Dave Watson remain doubtful. Leeds will again risk the wrath of the League by fielding a team liberally studded with reserves.

Wigan, on the other hand, will be at or near Wembley strength tomorrow, with Phil Clarke likely to come in for Mick Cassidy, who has had stitches in his knee. Billy McGinty will not come into the Wembley reckoning after he refused to play in an A team match this week.

St Helens yesterday signed Apollo Perilini, the Western Samoan forward, their second rugby union international convert in less than a week. Perilini, who made 16 appearances for the Samoans, has signed a two-year contract.

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