Bensons thoughts

Date published: Monday, September 5, 2011

TONY Benson, the Roughyeds’ boss, was both “pleased” and “encouraged” by his side’s stunning all-round performance in winning 24-20 at Workington with a point-a-minute blitz either side of half-time.

By rattling up five unanswered tries between the 35th and 59th minutes, Oldham became one of the few sides to win at Derwent Park this year and made it seven wins from nine going into the play-offs.

“That’s good form,” said Benson, “and this latest win will give us just the injection of confidence we need for the sudden-death battles that lie ahead.

“We’ve now beaten each of the other five teams in the play-offs at least once this year.

“Workington got the perfect start — ten points in 14 minutes — and that was largely because we gave away too many penalties early on. We talked before kick-off about the need to be squeaky clean, but in the first 20 minutes we were anything but that. We trailed 1-4 on the penalty count and that gave Town all the ball and all the good field position.

“We finally got things sorted around the 20-minute mark and once we had done that the game began to swing in our favour.

“Given that Workington had dominated so much in the first 20 it was encouraging to go in at half-time only two points down and that was due to our hard work in defence and our determination not to be bullied out of it.

“But as we prepare now for the play-offs I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep penalties conceded to an absolute minimum. You give the opposition a free kick on smallish grounds and they are starting the next set in your 20-metre zone. Particularly against big, physical sides that’s not to be recommended.

“We ran away with it in the middle half of the game, but then we had to show a lot of character again in the final 20 minutes when they came strongly again on the back of getting six penalties out of a run of seven.

“Everybody played well. This was a triumph for teamwork, and when you consider who I didn’t play — Mark McCully, Ben Heaton and Carl Forber to name but three — you can deduce what sort of performances we got from the boys who came in, like Matthew Fogarty, Jamie Dallimore and John Gillam, and those who played out of position, like Shaun Robinson at full-back and Valu Bentley, who replaced Jason Boults off the bench.”