Kingstone Press League 1 Preview: Rochdale Hornets v Oldham

Rochdale are looking forward to getting stuck into some league action at last.

“Pre-season has been a bit stop-start. We missed out on two of the more competitive games we should have had against Hunslet and Saints, which left us two games behind where we would have liked to have been going into the season,” said Hornets coach Ian Talbot.

“Maybe we were a little bit undercooked going into the North Wales and Swinton games but we should have no excuses going forward.

“I’m happy with what I’ve got and I’m sure throughout the season we’ll be calling on dual registration players from St Helens. We’ve tried to resist that up to now but it will become vitally important for us as we progress.

“It’s a great way for us to start the season with all the local rivalries between ourselves and Oldham. I’m sure there’s some open wounds for them from the last time we played them in the (2013) Grand Final and they will want to make amends for that. The rivalry is intense.”

Oldham had their iPro Sport Cup semi-final against North Wales Crusaders postponed last weekend because of a waterlogged pitch, which was frustrating according to their coach Scott Naylor.

“It was unfortunate but it was the right decision,” he said.

“But the bonus is we’ve got no injuries and we will be fresh going into the game against Rochdale, as will they, so it should make for a good game.

“It’s been so far so good for us. In the games we’ve played we’ve worked on different things.

“The results weren’t that important, we probably put in a poor 25 minutes against Sheffield but that’s all really, the rest has been positive. We’ve got to keep improving and Friday is another huge test for us to see where we’re at against another team that has come down.

“There is also that little matter of the Rochdale and Oldham thing being re-kindled having not played them last year, so I’m sure that it won’t disappoint.”

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