RUGBY LEAGUE: Benson braced for difficult Gateshead clash

Tony Benson

Tony Benson

First published in Rugby

OXFORD RL expect a stern test when in-form Gateshead Thunder visit on Sunday.

Tony Benson’s side slipped into the bottom three following a 32-12 defeat at Kingstone Press Championship One leaders Hunslet Hawks last weekend.

The visitors impressed in large parts of the game and led 12-6 at half-time, before falling away.

Bouncing back will be easier said than done, with Gateshead climbing the table after winning three of their last four games.

Benson, Oxford’s coach, said: “I’m gutted we didn’t win on Sunday as we put ourselves in a really good position to win the game.

“I’m proud of how the lads performed and we will be looking to put things right on Sunday.

“Gateshead have been on a good run of form and we know that it will be a difficult test for us.”

Valu Bentley (knee), Andrew Hoggins (knee), Sam Blaney (hip) and Jimmy Rowland (hamstring) are set for late fitness tests.

Chris Clarke (rib) definitely misses out, but Karl Temata should make his home debut.

Oxford RL squad: Baird, Benson, Bentley, Blaney, Briggs, Brooker, Connick, Crabtree, Davies, Ellison, Evans, Hadden, Hayles, Hoggins, S.Morris, Mulkeen, Osborn, Rowland, Rice, Sharratt, Temata, Thompson, Newton, Winfield.

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