Looking Ahead

Date published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013

THE men smashed 48-12 in North Wales are determined to put right the wrongs of Wrexham, says Oldham RL coach Scott Naylor.

His defensively dodgy Roughyeds conceded eight tries on the opening day of the season, causing Naylor to describe the rearguard action as “soft” in his post-match analysis.
He wasn’t for giving too much away after last night’s inquest, but it was evident he will be looking for his young side to toughen up and man the barricades with fire in their bellies when derby rivals Rochdale Hornets come to Whitebank on Sunday (3pm).
Despite Oldham’s 22-20 Law Cup triumph at Spotland, Hornets will be oozing confidence after their 58-16 hammering of Gateshead Thunder in which dual-registered St Helens ace Tommy Makinson bagged a hat-trick of tries from the left-centre berth.
Naylor’s men last night sat through a re-run of their opening-day setback, while the boss and his No 2 Lee Spencer analysed what went wrong.
“We studied it in detail,” said Naylor, “and then one or two of the boys took what was said to them on the chin.
“After that we went went outside and worked solidly for 90 minutes on certain things that needed putting right.
“It was an extremely good session —- a lot of contact and very physical.
“Once we had got last Sunday’s defeat out of the way, the focus was entirely on the Rochdale game.
“It’s all very well for a coach to be annoyed and disappointed by a team performance, but he must not lose sight of the fact that he and his players have to turn things around very quickly for the next game.
“With that in mind, we started our preparations for Rochdale and they will continue for the rest of the week.
“We have no injuries, everyone trained and everyone is upbeat and looking forward to getting out at Whitebank in front of our own very loyal supporters and hopefully putting a few things right.”
Rochdale used three dual-registered Saints players against Gateshead — Super League ace Makinson in the backs and two young forwards on the bench.
Roughyeds had young Salford forwards Will Hope and Jordan Walne on the bench at Wrexham as well as two more dual-reg players in the starting line-up, Niall Evalds at full-back and Jon Ford in the centre.
Naylor’s plans for Sunday in that regard won’t be known until he has spoken with City Reds caretaker boss Alan Hunte to establish who is available.
Added Naylor: “I will not be taking the same four. I might only be taking one or perhaps two, if any.”
He said David Cookson would again be in the under-20s — against Rochdale at Mayfield Sports Centre on Saturday, noon kick off — while he continued to build-up his fitness after completing his six-month RFL ban.
The only other member of the squad not in contention, said Naylor, was long-term injury victim Liam Thompson, who is still  on his rehab programme after a shoulder injury.
He is reported to be making excellent progress and working hard in training, while still a short way off resuming full contact training.