SCOTT Naylor will demand a whirlwind start from Oldham against London Broncos’ full-timers at Bower Fold on Sunday, February 18 at 3pm.
Despite spending heavily for an all-out assault on promotion to Super League, the Londoners won narrowly at Swinton Lions and then suffered a home defeat by Hull KR in their first two Championship outings.
“I imagine they won’t be feeling at their best,” said Naylor.
“We need to start well, get on top and stay there, and proceed to give them a tough game.
“They’ve spent a helluva lot of money, but so had Featherstone and looked what happened there (Oldham lost 8-6).
“We have to take massive confidence from our performances against Sheffield and Featherstone and get stuck into London with the same attitude and aggression.”
Jarrod Sammut, a big-money capture from Workington Town, has given Roughyeds trouble in the past with some scintillating performances from stand-off.
Naylor recognises the Australian’s threat, but backs his men to handle him.
Of the former NRL star (30), he said: “You musn’t give him time or space. He’s dangerous in one-on-one situations, he’s got a keen eye for the interception and for a half-back he’s a good defender.
“Now he’s in a full-time environment his game is sure to flourish.
“But let’s not get carried away with Sammut. He’s got a mistake in him and sometimes he can be a maverick, going off on his own rather than playing for the team. He’s got negatives as well as positives.”
Naylor has 19 players to choose from plus dual-reg personnel from Huddersfield Giants.
Sammy Gee, Liam Thompson and Ben Davies are ready to return after injury, but in view of how well the side played at Featherstone, few changes are anticipated.
Oldham (from): Turner, Clay, Egodo, Grimshaw, Gill, Chisholm, Leatherbarrow, Hewitt, Joy, Owen, Neal, Spencer, Langtree, Thompson, Ward, Burke, Davies, Hughes, Gee plus dual-reg personnel.
Naylor has welcomed the appointment as referee of Ben Thaler, one of the sport’s top officials.
He was puzzled at Featherstone by the 11-5 penalty count in favour of the home side.
“Ben Thaler is a quality referee,” said the Oldham coach. “He’ll be consistent and he’ll police the ruck the same way for both teams, which should make for an exciting game.”
Season-ticket cards (receipts required) can be collected from the main door at Bower Fold from 1.30pm.
There are still a few places available for ther ORSA buffet in the hospitality suite, priced at £10 for season-ticket holders and £25 for others, including a seat in the main stand. Ring Paul Hulbert on 07534 329674.