Kingstone Press League 1 preview: Rochdale Hornets v Oxford


Rochdale Hornets coach Ian Talbot was pleased with his side’s 28-16 victory over Swinton Lions at the weekend.

“I thought defensively we were very good,” he said. “They had a lot of ball on our line and we held them out, it was fantastic defence from us.

Oxford are another unknown quantity. They’re getting quite a few players from Bradford at the minute to compliment what they’ve already got. We’ll just prepare ourselves in the right frame of mind. The Swinton win means nothing if we don’t back it up this week.”

Oxford had a good win over London Skolars last time out.

Coach Tim Rumford said: “I was happy with the win at the weekend, it was good to get the two points. These couple of wins early in the season are really important to us.

“The performance, particularly in the first half, was really good first half and I thought we should have been further in front at half-time. In the second half we were probably guilty of over-playing. Being 28-0 up at half-time, at times it was difficult to stay motivated – which we’ll address this week.

“We face a very good team this weekend, Rochdale have obviously got a good link up with St Helens so they could put out a few very experienced players.

“Our lesser experienced boys need to match them. It’s great for their development but we need to make sure we’re competitive with the likes to Rochdale to see how far we’ve come – that’s the challenge for us this week.”

Oxford will be without loose forward Matty Blythe, who is suspended.