RUGBY LEAGUE: Oxford seek to build on momentum

Oxford coach Tony Benson is optimistic

Oxford coach Tony Benson is optimistic

First published in Rugby

Oxford RL visit Hemel Stags for the first time since losing at Pennine Way in last season’s play-offs.

The Stags edged a tight game 30-26, and there has been little to choose between the sides so far this season.

Oxford sit one point below their hosts in the table, but know a win on Sunday would take them into the top four.

Head coach Tony Benson is full of respect for the Stags, but is looking for his side to build on last weekend’s 40-24 win at home to South Wales Scorpions.

He said: “It’s a big test for us, but I know we are ready for it.

“We played really well in large parts against the Scorpions.

“There were a couple of areas which we needed to touch up on, but we have been working hard in training to correct these and I’m expecting us to continue where we left off last week.

“They have started the season off well and we know they will be a big test for us as they are a powerful side.

“They have some big units which will cause us problems if we don't stop them early.

“Their halves control the game well, and we need to be on the watch out as it’s a fairly small pitch down there.”

The visitors have several injury concerns.

Jimmy Rowland is definitely ruled out due to a ligament injury he picked up in the victory against the Scorpions.

Valu Bentley (ankle) will again be checked in training this week to see if he can be considered for the weekend.

There will also be fitness tests for Michael Crabtree and Glenn Osborn, who both of whom.

Oxford RL: from Baird, Benson, Blaney, Blewitt, Brooker, Crabtree, Connick, Clarke, Davies, Ellison, Evans, Hadden, Hoggins, Hayles, Lynch, J Morris, S Morris, Mulkeen, Newton, O'Keeffe, Parker, Rice, Roden, Sharratt, Slade-Jones, Thompson, Winfield, Wright.

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