Bensons thoughts on Keighley

Date published: Tuesday, March 6, 2012

UPBEAT boss Tony Benson was encouraged once again by his side’s resolute performance in a 26-12 Northern Rail Cup defeat at Keighley.

It was Oldham’s third defeat by Championship teams in the NRC preliminaries, but Dewsbury Rams narrowly won a thriller 30-28 and big-spending Keighley were made to battle hard for 80 minutes on their own ground in order to achieve the win they needed to qualify for the last eight.

“Oldham made life tough for us. If they battle like that consistently in the league I’m sure they’ll finish in the top four,” summed up Cougars player-coach Jason Demetriou, who had more than one run-in with a gutsy Roughyeds side that clearly had no desire to be seen as Championship One easy-beats.

Saud Benson: “I’m disappointed by the score because it didn’t reflect what we put into the game.

“We’ve been getting better each week and this was a massive improvement, especially in defence.

“Keighley had to win to go through, but for us the game was all about improving once again in readiness for the first league game at Workington next Sunday. Did we achieve that? Yes, we did.

“Keighley’s side was packed with experience in key positions and against teams like that you are going to be punished if you surrender territory by giving away a large number of penalties.

“We conceded 10 or 11 and that’s not good enough. We’ve got to keep below six or seven. We’ve still to improve a lot to achieve that, but in other ways I was hugely encouraged by our performance.

“Our goal-line defence was excellent. We’ve been working hard on that and it’s fair to say we are getting better with each game on both defence and attack.

“We need to be spending a lot more time at our opponents’ end of the field, but that will happen when we stop giving away silly penalties and making mistakes with ball in hand.

“To sum up, we made a Keighley side which was packed with relatively big names battle every inch of the way and that will stand us in good stead at Workington.

“I’m happy to be starting the league campaign in the shape we are in.”