Oldham and Whitehaven set for battle

Oldham coach Tony Benson must cope without prop Liam Gilchrist (groin), but David Ellison could return to bolster the Roughyeds’ front-row options.

Benson watched his men lost 29-20 against Swinton last week.

But he believes Oldham are heading in the right direction, despite only winning one of their three Northern Rail Cup fixtures so far.

He said: “We’re learning a long, slow lesson, but it’s early days yet and I’m sure we’ll learn it and be all the better for learning it.”

Whitehaven coach David Seeds has no injuries to deal with, but has been battling to prevent an outbreak of flu spreading throughout his squad.

Seeds said: “We’re trying to limit people with signs of it from coming to training, but we should be fine by Sunday.”

Haven’s scheduled fixture against Halifax was last week postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, and Seeds admitted to being frustrated.

He said: “It’s a shame that the Halifax game was postponed because we’d built up some momentum from the Sheffield game.

“People were upbeat with that performance and it’s a case of trying to keep the boys at that level ahead of Sunday’s game.”

Whitehaven now face three matches in six days, starting with Oldham on Sunday, Halifax on Wednesday and Lezignan on Saturday. “It’s certainly going to test us,” said Seeds.

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