Kingstone Press League 1 Preview: Oxford v Oldham

Oxford won 38-16 at Hemel Stags but this week’s game against league leaders Oldham is a huge challenge.

Coach Tim Rumford said: “There is a big emphasis on finishing the season strongly. We know it’s a tough ask against the best team in the competition but we’ve nothing to lose.”

Oxford could have forwards Jordan Andrade and Josh Scott back from playing in the Forces competition. Stand-off Danny Thomas is a doubt with a hamstring problem but half-back Nathan Kitson returns.

Oldham’s 28-16 victory over Swinton Lions was a significant win according to coach Scott Naylor.

“We went into the game probably for the first time this season with our strongest units out and there was a lot of pressure on the lads who played,” he said.

“We had quite a young team out and Will Hope was playing his first game for over 12 months at any serious level. It was just a really good performance. Swinton came and played really well and we ended up getting across the line, it was a tough game.”

A win at Oxford will see them finish the regular season at the top of the league. But Naylor said they won’t be taking anything for granted.

“You always think as a coach they’re going to go there and be a little bit off the boil but the lads are saying all the right things, they are not talking about complacency,” he said.

“I don’t even have to mention the word. They seem really focused. It’s the first time since I’ve been here that things have probably been in our own hands and they totally understand that.

“I don’t think any of them will be going to Oxford and not giving their all because they know what’s at stake.”

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