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All Golds coach Steve McCormack expects tough challenge from Oldham

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 23, 2014

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The University of Gloucestershire All Golds coach Steve McCormack has special reasons to expect a tough game against Oldham on Sunday.

His father starred for Oldham in the 1960s and McCormack knows all about their rich history ahead of the Kingstone Press Championship One clash at the Prince of Wales Stadium in Cheltenham (kick-off 3pm).

The All Golds had a superb 34-24 victory at London Skolars last weekend while promotion hopefuls Oldham had a pulsating 31-30 win over second-placed York City Knights.

The All Golds recorded a 20-20 draw in Lancashire last season and will be aiming to go one better.

However, Oldham pose a significant threat and McCormack tipped them to be well orchestrated by former Salford Red Devil Lewis Palfrey.

McCormack said: “Oldham is a club that I have always followed with interest due to my father playing there a few years ago.

“It is a tremendous club with great history and we are aware that we are up against one of the favourites for promotion.

“We need to step up another level in intensity and are thoroughly looking forward to the challenge.”

Oldham head coach and former Bradford Bulls star Scott Naylor has warned his players to be ready for the ‘McCormack factor’,

McCormack masterminded his side’s top display last week in the capital that was voted the performance of the week by the Championship sponsors.

Naylor knows he will be even keener to put one over on the Roughyeds in his first home game.

“Gloucestershire raised many eyebrows a fortnight ago when tempting McCormack to become their head coach,” he said.

“In his short time there he will have worked hard to put a lot of structure into their play.

“They will be a different proposition now, as their win in London would indicate.

“He’s a very good coach and he’s proved himself wherever he has been. I’m expecting a very tough game.”

The All Golds will be tempted to keep faith with the same selection, though Scott Claridge is likely to be recalled if he passes a fitness test.

Outstanding recent recruit from Leeds Rhinos Ben White may make his debut.

Daniel Fallon is a doubt through injury and powerful back-row forward and Keighley Cougars player Richard Jones will sit out the remainder of his two-match ban.

James Tutuila and former Wakefield Trinity man Mark Barlow both remain on the injured list after sustaining leg fractures.

The All Golds senior academy take on the Midlands Regional selection on Saturday at St Peter’s High School in Gloucester (kick-off 2.30pm).

The team enjoyed success too last time out at London Skolars and coach Mike Stewart will be expecting his charges to put into effect a professional display.

“We are looking forward to hosting the Midlands Regional Academy,” he said.

“I am anticipating a spirited performance after last week’s success in London and this should bring a positive result.”

Stewart will again rely on the power of Frankie Foster and Jamie James while hoping for more sensational long range action from Joe Williams at full-back.

However, Stewart faces a selection headache as so many Gloucestershire youngsters are seeking professional contracts with the All Golds.

Meanwhile, Casey Canterbury has been named as one of the Kingstone Press Players of the Week.

Canterbury marked his All Golds debut in fine style, dictating play from two different positions in a 34-24 win against the Skolars.

Canterbury, who trained for the first time with his new team-mates just two days before Sunday’s game, was introduced off the bench after just 15 minutes and went on to dominate proceedings.

McCormack said: “Casey was fantastic. He played at hooker until half-time, then switched to scrum-half when we lost Danny Fallon to injury.

“He got out of dummy half well, picked up the tempo, added quality when we needed it and chipped in with two tries.”

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