Crusaders 48 Oldham 12

Date published: Monday, March 4, 2013

OUR Northern Rail Cup campaign got off to a disappointing start with a 48-12 away defeat by North Wales Crusaders in Wrexham.

Crusaders were the better side throughout, as the score suggests, and it was obvious to even the most partisan Roughyeds supporter that we have a lot of improving to do before Sunday’s clash with Rochdale Hornets at Whitebank (3pm kick off).
We scored three tries — the first by centre Jon Ford in the corner after 17 minutes, the second by replacement hooker Adam Files direct from dummy half in the 33rd minute and the third from full-back Niall Evalds 14 minutes from the end.
Ford and Evalds were two of four dual registered players from Salford, the others both used from the bench, Will Hope and Jordan Walne.
We were leading 8-6 until four minutes before half-time when Crusaders scored their second try by Durbin — a signal for the Roughyeds’ floodgates to open.
In the four minutes before half-time and the first seven afterwards, Crusaders scored an astonishing 30 points with tries by Durbin, Massam, Roets, Smith and Middlehurst plus five conversions by full-back Tommy Johnson, who finished with eight from eight in a terrific all-round individual performance.
When trailing 36-8 we grabbed a consolation try by Evalds, but Crusaders were still not finished and they added further tries by Brennan and Reardon to finish comfortable victors.
A disappointed Scott Naylor said: “What disturbed me most was not the defeat, but the manner of it. I could perhaps find a few positives, but not many.
“To get beaten by a side which scored good team tries is one thing, but to be beaten because players were running through or over our defenders, with very little sign of effort in the tackle, is hard to swallow.
“Some of the lads gave everything, but I can’t say that about all 17, and that is unacceptable.”
Oldham scorers: tries, Ford, Files, Evalds.
Team: Evalds; Agoro, Samuel, Ford, Lepori; Palfrey, Dallimore; Boults, Gee, Gilchrist, Crowley, Langtree, Hobson. Subs: Files, Hope, Ward, Walne.
Ref: C Sharrad; Att: 712.