Rugby League: Tunks' farewell to Oldham: Lindner becomes coach for remainder of season

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The Independent Online
PETER TUNKS has left Oldham after almost three years as coach, following Sunday's Silk Cup Challenge Cup defeat by Second Division Doncaster.

Tunks said yesterday that he had offered to resign after the previous week's defeat at Sheffield: the latest in a series that has seen Oldham slump to next to last place in the First Division.

'I had made my mind up that win, lose or draw against Doncaster, it was time for me to go,' he said. 'It had reached the point where I couldn't do much more with them. I told the

directors that I needed two more players, but they were only interested in me selling the ones I'd got. I'm quite relieved and I've just had my best night's sleep in three years.'

Tunks' replacement, at least until the end of the season, is his biggest signing for the club, his fellow Australian Test forward, Bob Lindner, who is in the first year of a two-year

contract as a player. 'Bob has made it well known that he wants to coach,' the Oldham chairman, Jim Quinn, said. 'The rest of this season will show him whether he is cut out for it. He is a very deep thinker and very knowledgeable about the game.'

Quinn paid tribute to Tunks' efforts to put a successful side on the field, while simultaneously trying to balance a precarious financial situation. 'He has unlimited energy, and must have been to every corner of the country on the club's behalf,' he said. 'He has launched our Academy side, and he has built up an Alliance team, almost all aged under 20, who have not been beaten this season. Unfortunately, you are judged on what is happening at first-team level, and there we have been going through a dismal period.'

The Wigan players, Shaun Edwards and Martin Offiah, will not be punished for missing the World Sevens in Sydney earlier this month. The League's board of directors yesterday accepted Edwards' explanation that he had pulled out because of a shoulder injury. No further action will be taken against Offiah, who withdrew after an insurance wrangle.

Paul Newlove, who has already quit Test rugby over the argument, failed to appear yesterday and may yet face a charge of misconduct. An adjournment of his case, however, gives time for conciliation.