Featherstone v Oldham

Date published: Monday, January 17, 2011

ROUGHYEDS went down 36-10 at the Bigfellas Stadium on Saturday night in the second of three pre-season warm-up games. A bitterly-cold gale-force wind, that often had the goal posts at the Post Office Road end swaying alarmingly, spoiled the game as a spectacle.

Rovers, on home soil, adapted to the conditions rather better than Roughyeds and as a consequence ran in six tries to the visitors’ two, both scored in the first half off Neil Roden kicks by Ben Wood and Ben Heaton, the first one converted by Mick Diveney.

We trailed 18-10 at half time and we didn’t score in the second half although Andy Isherwood had two tries disallowed, the first for faulty grounding as he crashed over through a crowded defence and the second for a forward pass.

Among the things coach Tony Benson will be looking at this week — in the build-up to Sunday’s visit of Whitehaven to Whitebank (3pm) in a SEAT Trophy game — will be the need to be more disciplined and to minimise penalties against. We were penalised 16 times at Featherstone, 11 in the second half alone, and that was another main reason for Rovers having so much possession and scoring six tries.

Tony was at the game but he handed over authority for control of the side on the night to his No 2 Martin Roden, who emerged from the dressing room after the game to talk to the Press.

Martin said there were many positives to be taken from the game, despite the defeat, but from a coaching point of view it was important for Tony and himself to look carefully as the things the side did NOT do well so that they could be addressed and put right.

He conceded that Rovers adapted to the peculiar conditions better than Roughyeds and said they played a short-passing game rather than trying to use the longer pass that got the visitors into trouble on many occasions.

He also stressed that things had to be kept in perspective because this game was a pre-season warm-up match in which Roughyeds had made a lot of changes and substitutions in order to look at different combinations.

He added: “That’s what these games are for. Our goal for the season is to win the Championship One competition outright in August or September, not necessarily to win a friendly at Featherstone on a cold Saturday night in January.”

For the record Featherstone tries were scored by Jon Grayshon, Nat Browne, Dominic Dee (2), Mvududu and Liam Welham, with Tom Carr kicking all six goals.

Featherstone: Carr; Garahan, Mvududu, Welham, Kirk; Worthington, Gaunt; Dee, Johnson, Mawson, Grayshon, Milburn, Browne. Subs: Knight, Pearson, Hobson, Tasker-Howerd, Bassinder, Hemingway, Nurse, Iley.

Oldham: Heaton; Onyango, Fogarty, Bradbury,Gillam; N Roden, Diveney; Boults, Clough, Gilchrist, Isherwood, Wood,Mansfield. Subs: Sutton, Wood-Hulme, Walker, Whitmore, Williams, Knight, Ashe.

Ref: Mr Jamie Leahy (Dewsbury); Att: 615.