Naylor proud of never say die Roughyeds

Date published: Monday, July 28, 2014

ICE-COOL Scott Naylor rarely shows emotion, but he couldn’t conceal his delight — and relief — at the end of a terrific game in which Oldham triumphed 24-23 in a top-three thriller against Hunslet Hawks.

It was made all the sweeter coming only seven days after that 54-12 pasting at York which the Roughyeds boss described as the darkest hour in his coaching career.
What a difference a week can make in rugby league.
Speaking after his side came from 23-16 down to keep intact its unbeaten home record  with two tries in the last few minutes, Naylor said he was proud of his players for the way they had turned things round so dramatically from their awful performance last week.
He added: “We got what we deserved at York and we also got what we deserved here because we were the better side apart from a 15-minute spell in the second half.
“We are dangerous when we do the right things and work hard to get good field position.
“Hunslet are a good team who have kept their squad together from when they were in the Championship last year.
“We need to win more games like this, and we will do as we get used to playing at this level week in and week out.
“The players had a tough few days after their big defeat at York. They copped a lot of criticism and they have responded in the best possible way.
“If this scenario had arisen last year I don’t think we would have won.”
Mo Agoro and Jon Ford returned to the side after injury or illness, while new loan signing Gareth Owen was thrown in at the deep end as starting hooker and Brett Robinson was recalled on the bench, not as a half-back, his usual spot, but as Owen’s replacement hooker.
Naylor said his new hookers, Owen and Robinson, both did well, as did his half-backs Steve Roper and skipper Lewis Palfrey.
He went on: “At any one time we had three players in the middle who were able to control things.
“Lewis (Palfrey) kicked well and at the right time, while ‘Ropes’ (Roper) kept their defence guessing.
“It was good to see us playing with a lot of confidence. Sometimes you have to take risks in order to score, but in the main we played with calmness and composure, which was good to see.
“Even when we were seven points down with ten minutes left we didn’t panic. We kept our shape and our belief and eventually got the reward we deserved with those two late tries which saw us home.”