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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Workington Town coach happy at lack of friendly matches

The lack of pre-season friendlies has turned out to be a blessing in disguise according to Workington Town joint coach Martin Oglanby.

Martin Oglanby photo
Martin Oglanby

Town had a run out at Widnes Vikings on Sunday, putting up a brave performance before going down 30-6, a display that earned praise from Vikings’ coach Denis Betts. But they had been unable to secure another away game as ground improvements continue at Derwent Park for this year’s Rugby League World Cup. Town are due to host two World Cup games.

But, after struggling to field 17 players – Town fielded two amateurs and conditioning coach Matthew Johnson – two further injuries would have put them in exactly the same situation if they had a friendly this weekend.

Oglanby said: “Andy Morris served his one-match ban and would have been available but, with knocks on Sunday to Marc Shackley and Adam Walne, we would have been pushed to field a side due to injuries, suspensions and sickness.

“Mark Calderwood and John Patrick had both been suffering from flu and put their hands up to sit on the bench at Widnes but, obviously, on the player front we would have struggled.”

With the first Championship game of the season at Swinton Lions just over two weeks away, on the plus side, Jarrad Stack, Peter Lupton and James Coyle could be in contention for the trip to Steve McCormack’s Lions. Jonathan Dawes has had another clean out of his knee and is also expected to be back sooner rather than later, although flying winger Elliott Miller is targeting the beginning of March for his return, a similar target for Dan Rooney.

Jamie Thackray still has a one-game ban to serve, while Jamie Action has another three matches.

A lot will probably depend on the availability of Widnes players on dual-registrations forms, Betts insisting that Town could have the pick of the remainder of players after he had selected his match-day Super League squad.

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