Coach’s comments

Date published: Monday, May 10, 2010

DISAPPOINTED Roughyeds coach Tony Benson came out of the Oldham dressing room after the defeat by York and declared: “It’s like a morgue in there. We are hurting badly for a lot of people.

“The boys knew how much effort people have put in to make this a special day and they are pretty distraught because they couldn’t cap it off with another win.

“But we are certainly not blaming the referee for the defeat. We let ourselves down in the first 20 minutes — that was when the game was lost.

“We are bitterly disappointed obviously, but with only 12 men and with a few injury problems we still battled bravely to the end and got a bonus point. The lads deserve credit for that.

“As for the day generally, I thought the ground looked fantastic; there was a great atmosphere; and there are going to be some great games and some great occasions on that field in the coming months and years.”

He said the dismissal of Kerr was a decision which clearly affected the outcome of a tight game, as were injuries to his fellow props Jason Boults (hamstring) and Dave Ellison (concussion) and hooker Martin Roden (ankle).

Mick Fogerty and John Gillam, the left-wing pair, had each reported shoulder injuries as well.

He added: “From the start we didn’t do what we had set out to do. The plan was to be clinical early on; to keep the ball away from them as much as possible; to wear them down; and then to come through strongly in the second half.

“It all went wrong because we didn’t play well in the first half, losing ball, giving penalties away and giving York too much posession and good field position.

“We upped the tempo in the second half only to have Wayne Kerr sent off. I am not allowed to comment on the decision, but I will say that if what Wayne did warrants a red card and what their fellow did to Dave Ellison doesn’t warrant a card of any description I think they need to look at the rules. That decision hit us hard. Wayne was playing well.

“In the first 20 we didn’t have the direction we have been used to. We found our feet a bit later on but things then went against us.

“We’ve got to bounce back from this now. We haven’t been used to losing. We need to make sure that we react to it in the right way.”