Oakham out to topple leaders

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OAKHAM are determined to extend their six-match unbeaten run and become the first this season to beat Newark in the process when the sides meet tomorrow.

Oaks coach Adam Copperwheat said: “Newark will be well drilled and they use their mauls very effectively so every player has to be at his best, but I see no reason why we cannot do it.

“I just hope the lads do themselves justice.

“There’s no pressure on us. Nobody is expecting a win. They have beaten everyone so far, and quite convincingly at times, but they are there to be beaten. At some time a team will beat them.”

Copperwheat added: “Joe Caunt should be back which will be a big boost for us but unfortunately Corey Archard will be out for the rest of the season after damaging his ankle, and Will Armstrong is unavailable.”

And third-placed Oakham are as capable of beating the leaders as anyone. The Oaks lost at Newark earlier in the season but racked up more points than any other side has managed against them in a 54-21 loss.

Last Saturday, Oakham picked up a bonus point as they beat Nottingham Casuals 29-16, narrowing the gap to one point on second-placed Market Bosworth.

Player-coach Copperwheat scored Oakham’s first and after the break, Angus Boyle, James Cooper and Mark Matthews added their names to the scoresheet, with Matthews, who kicked three second half penalties, sealing the bonus point, in the last play of the game.

“The bonus point was pleasing,” said Copperwheat. “But sometimes we did too much of the fancy stuff and not enough of the simple basics.”

Tomorrow’s game at Oakham Showground kick off is at 2.15pm.