Beware a rumble of Thunder, says Naylor

Date published: 20 August 2014

SCOTT Naylor has warned Oldham's game at Gateshead Thunder will be one of the toughest of the season.

Roughyeds need to win their two remaining matches; this one on AUgust 31 and at Whitebank against Gloucester on September 7, to finish second in Championship One.

Thunder are in fourth place and can't climb higher - but must take three points from Oldham to stay there. The side is much improved over that of a year ago.

Said Naylor: "We'll go up there expecting a very, very difficult task. We are capable of beating both Gateshead and Gloucester to finish second, but I can't emphasise enough that we will have to be at the peak of our form.

"To go into the play-offs from there wouldn't be a bad starting point, considering our principal challengers all season have been two teams who were in the championship last year and who retained most of their players."

Gateshead and Oldham dominate the latest Kingstone Press Championship One team of the week, each with three players. Centre David Cookson, second-row forward Josh Crowley and half-back Steve Roper form the Roughyeds' trio.

Hemel Stags, beaten 38-10 at Whitebank last Sunday, picked out Roper as the Roughyeds' outstanding player.

The under-20s play their last game of the season at Featherstone tonight (7.45pm) - and might have a Frenchman in the backs.

Maxime Fages (23), brother of Salford half-back Theo Fages, is in the area to spend time with Theo and the family.

He has been training with Neil Roden's under-20s and signed trialist forms in time to beat Friday's deadline.