Henry Paul’s master class

Date published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
WHILE Oldham fans were saluting Jamie Dallimore’s two-try show in Sunday’s derby win against Rochdale, the Roughyeds half-back was beating himself up over his four failed goal kicks.
In two Northern Rail Cup games, ‘Dally’ has landed three goals from ten attempts . . . and that’s a worry for the man who last season made marksmanship look easy.
Now, he’s hoping tips from the top will help to put him back on track.
Former dual-code international Henry Paul, once a Bradford Bulls team mate of Oldham boss Scott Naylor, has been at Whitebank at Naylor’s invitation to give help and guidance on all aspects of kicking a rugby ball.
Dallimore, Lewis Palfrey, Richard Lepori, Sam Gee, Adam Files and Steven Nield were given a demonstration of field kicking and goal kicking by the man who played for New Zealand at rugby league, England at rugby union and scored nearly 1,000 points for Bradford in 100 games.
“He was happy to give us the benefit of his experience, and who better to do that,” said Naylor, who played alongside the Kiwi stand-off at Odsal between 1999 and 2001.
No one was more grateful for Henry’s help than Dallimore.
He said: “He showed us different techniques and how best to kick the ball in general play; how to get more distance; and how to keep it in the field of play with use of back-spin.
“He did a lot of work with us on goalkicking too, not that it did me much good on Sunday.
“That wasn’t Henry’s fault, of course. He was extremely helpful and I’m sure we’ll all benefit from his tuition if we keep on practising what he showed us to do.
“On a personal note he couldn’t have come at a better time because I’m struggling with goalkicking, and I don’t know why.
“It’s probably more to do with my head than my technique. I’m not aware that I’m doing anything different.
“Perhaps I’m thinking about it too much, or suffering from a lack of confidence or concentration at the point of contact with the ball.
“Henry told me to stick with my basic technique, but to work on little things and to concentrate for a while on doing the right thing when planting my non-kicking foot. He said that was very important.
“I’m starting to question myself and I’ve never done that before. But it isn’t something I’ll run away from. So long as Scott (Naylor) wants me to kick the goals I’ll willingly step up to the mark.
“I just hope that with a lot of practice and with Henry’s tips I can get back to kicking goals like I used to.”
+The Junction Inn (633 2759) is running a bus to Whitebank on Sunday for the Gateshead game. It leaves The Junction at 2pm, cost £2.50. Seats need to be booked before 3pm Saturday.