Match Preview - Oldham (H)
The Eagles welcome Oldham to the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday, with Mark Aston’s side aiming to complete a league double over the Roughyeds.
Sheffield were 28-32 victors over Oldham in the first meeting between the sides earlier on this season.
Both sides haven’t hit their straps throughout 2021 but they have enjoyed a brief spell of good performances in recent rounds.
However, Sheffield come into the contest after a couple of weeks away as positive COVID tests and close contacts led to postponements.
Last Time Out
The Eagles’ last game was against Halifax on July 25th, losing 28-40 at the Mobile Rocket Stadium in Wakefield.
Sheffield had to play at Trinity’s ground due to pitch maintenance at the Keepmoat.
Ryan Millar scored a second consecutive hat-trick but that proved in vain due to an inspired final quarter from Halifax prop Adam Tangata, who also scored three tries.
Anthony Thackeray and Aaron Brown scored the other Eagles’ tries as they slipped to defeat against their West Yorkshire counterparts.
Oldham couldn’t quite get over the line against Swinton Lions.
A 22-22 draw will have left both sides frustrated as they battle against relegation to League 1.
Tyler Dupree notched a first half brace for the Roughyeds, who were 12-0 up at the interval.
Lewis Hatton got Swinton back into the game with the Lions’ first try of the contest before Lloyd Roby extended Oldham’s lead.
Hatton and Mike Butt then notched tries for the visitors, who had turned the game on its head to go 16-18 in front.
James Barran and Deane Meadows exchanged four-pointers for Oldham and Swinton respectively, the latter scoring with a couple of minutes left on the clock. Abram converted for Oldham while Ridyard couldn’t for the Lions, leaving the score at 22-apiece.
Both sides will enjoy the fact they can spread the ball wide on a great Keepmoat surface.
Expansive play should be expected and the full-backs will relish the chance to break through the line or be on hand to cut a defence in two with a long pass.
Josh Guzdek is as reliable as they come for the Eagles at number one. He may not be flash but he does the basics very well and that cannot be underestimated.
His link-up play with Ryan Millar, especially after the opposition kick into space, can certainly provide headaches for defences.
Or if he’s faced with a high ball, there hasn’t been many times where it’s been left to bounce or has been fumbled.
On the other side, Dan Abram is the Roughyeds’ full-back.
The former Whitehaven man looks at home in the Championship and he is also a fine goal-kicker, which is always nice to have up your sleeve.
It will be interesting to see Abram go up against Guzdek tomorrow, more so if the two teams decide to throw caution to the wind.
Tickets are available online until Sunday midday but can be purchased on the day at the Keepmoat ticket office.
You can get yours here: https://eagles.mysportstickets.co.uk/events/home/Oldham_788
By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman