Oldham 18 Rochdale 28

Date published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013

OUR first game in the Kingstone Press Championship One campaign ended in a 28-18 defeat by Rochdale Hornets at Whitebank on Good Friday.

Having beaten our derby rivals 22-20 at Spotland in the Law Cup and 26-10 at Whitebank in the Northern Rail Cup we couldn’t make it third-time lucky to get our league season off to the best possible start.
We got the bonus point, an essential in defeat, but Hornets were the better side this time, although we gave them a big fright with a fightback which yielded 18 unanswered points and took us from 16-0 down after half an hour to 18-16 in front by midway through the second half.
Coach Scott Naylor said: “We failed to kick-on from there, and started to make mistakes which invited Rochdale back into our half of the field.
“They are a good side with good players and, unfortunately, we couldn’t keep them out in the last quarter of an hour when they got back in front and went on to get the win they undoubtedly deserved.
“They ran hard, tackled hard, played tough and did everything you need to do to win a game of rugby.
“A lot of what we did wasn’t good enough. We didn’t bend our backs in defence and we didn’t finish off sets with good kicks.”
Disappointing though it was, this defeat needs to be kept in perspective because we have won five of our seven games so far and in three games against Rochdale — a team fancied to be up there in the shake-up for promotion come September —we have won two; scored 66 points on aggregate to their 58; posted the biggest winning margin (16); and totalled 12 tries to the Hornets’ 11.
And while Scott would never look for excuses, the fact remains we had only a five-day turn-around going into this game against Rochdale’s 12 days as a result of their Northern Rail Cup game against London Skolars being postponed on the day we had the long trip to South Wales Scorpions.
Oldham scorers: goals, Jamie Dallimore (3); tries, Danny Langtree (his fourth in three games), Richard Lepori, Adam Files.
Oldham: Lepori; Agoro, Cookson, Nield, Bloomfield; Palfrey, Dallimore; Joy, Gee, Boults, Crowley, Langtree, Hobson. Subs: Files, Marriott, Tyrer, Hughes.
Hornets; English; Langley, Davies, Hull, Sutton; Crook, Roper; Bate, McClurg, Cookson, Baines, Trumper, Thompson. Subs: Stewart, Hough, Frodsham, Goodman.
Ref: T Crashley; Att: 664.