Kingstone Press Championship Preview: London Skolars v Oldham

Reflecting on the 38-12 defeat at Barrow Raiders, London Skolars coach Jermaine Coleman felt his team need to be more structured in their approach.

“There was a lot of desire and commitment, just poor execution and poor skill. We didn’t really play to any structure and our completion was appalling,” he said.

“After 60 minutes we were at 30 per cent so on reflection it’s not a bad result but we didn’t give ourselves an opportunity really.

“We defended quite well given the amount of defensive work we had to do but let ourselves down with the ball – we never tested them or put them under pressure.

“Looking at the squad, it’s pretty much the team that played at the start of the season when they were beaten by York and Swinton by 70 and 80 points so it’s progression but not as much as I’d like!”

Oldham have tended to struggle against the Skolars, which his players are very aware of. “They know the teams that they tend to perform against and that was a lot of the talk by our team on the bus back and at training,” he said. “Oldham don’t necessarily travel down here very well. It’s a big challenge but one we’re looking forward to.”

Coleman and his half-back partner Mike Bishay both hope to recover from dead legs while centre Matt Cook is a doubt with a shoulder problem.

Oldham coach Scott Naylor was pleased with his side’s 38-18 win over Rochdale Hornets.

“I thought for large spells of the game we were the better team,” he said. “It was a tough game, a typical derby with a lot of aggression and passion in it but I thought we came out top in both of those things. To beat our neighbours by 20 points is always nice.

Looking ahead to the challenge of the Skolars he said: “London are a team that we’ve never been comfortable against. We always seem to end up in a bit of a fight when we play them, they are tough games.

“I know their results haven’t been amazing this year but we’ll be showing them the same respect as Rochdale. It’s a long journey and it takes a hell of a lot out of you physically and mentally and there’s a lot of things that have to go right so they can play well. It’s not an easy place to go to.”

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