Thursday, 23 February 2012

Look out! Here come: Keighley

Having first thrown away a 14-6 lead to go down 22-16 against Batley, then last week having scraped a 24-all draw at Toulouse (having led 22-12 after an hour), there's a pattern emerging as the 'Manchester City of the Co-operative Championship' struggle to break their Northern Rail Cup duck.

Despite the signing of big names Michael Korkidas, Sam Obst and Semi Tadulala, plus 'Mad' Paul March, Richie Barnett. Danny Jones and ex-Cronulla, Wests Tigers and Junior Kiwi threequarter Matt Parata, Jason Demetriou's team of 65-minute wonders still need two wins from their remaining two games in order to qualify for the next stage of the competition.

Tadulala is in contention for a place in the 17, as is Jones - his chance depends on whether Demetriou sticks with Paul March and Sam Obst who filled the half-back berths last week. Leeds dual registration signing Jake Normington is also now available.

Having beaten Hornets in last year's playoff elimination final, Demetriou has a reasonable idea of what he's in for: “Rochdale are a good side and well coached by John Stankevitch," he said. 

But doesn't he love to rub it in? “We played them four times last year, but fortunately we got the right result in the play-off game and managed to go on and win promotion.” Yep, thanks for reminding us. We were shouting for Workington.

He went on: “I’m sure they will be looking to get off to winning ways before their season starts. They can score points and it will be a tough test. We are going to have to defend well."

Especially in that tricky last 15 minutes, Jason.