Ovenden stars out

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OVENDEN player-coach Gareth Jones is likely to be one of several notable absentees for tomorrow’s home match up with traditional big guns Oulton Raiders.

Jones (knee) is almost certain to miss out, while winger Pete Duggan (back), former Halifax back rower Brett Durkin and highly-rated front rower Tom Palmer (unavailable) are also out of contention.

“It’s going to be a different sort of side, that’s for sure,” said Jones.

“We’ll have a look at bringing some players through from the second team: We’ve got 78 players signed on at the moment so it shouldn’t be a problem.

“I was really impressed with some of the under 17s who played in that team last week and while tomorrow might be a bit early for them, I will be keeping an eye on them.”

Oulton have been in indifferent form so far, but beat Elland comfortably last time out and Jones is expecting a significant challenge.

“It’s hard to tell how seriously clubs are treating this short season,” he said.

“A lot of teams seem to be resting players, so you never know what to expect.

“We can only go off last week’s result, which tells us they are going to be tough to beat.”