Our “master class” performance

Date published: Monday, July 14, 2014
WITH top-three rivals York and Hunslet lurking round the next bend, Scott Naylor was anything but heady after his side’s hugely impressive nine-try hammering of the All Golds.

Privately, he must have been thrilled to bits, but in terms of waxing lyrical about his team’s qualities he left that to the eloquent Lionel Hurst LL.B, the All Golds president, who has won various awards for his services to rugby league.
Among five wins in their previous seven games, Gloucester had claimed the scalps of leaders York at home and third-placed Hunslet away.
Said Hurst: “We were brought down to earth today by a master-class performance from an Oldham team that played brilliantly.
“It was Oldham’s day. They played beautiful rugby on a day when the northern giants put the southerners to the sword.”
(A reference this not only to Oldham’s win, but to Hunslet’s hammering of South Wales and York’s big win at Oxford).
Oldham, in second place, go to York next Sunday and then entertain Hunslet at Whitebank seven days later on Sunday, July 27.
Said Naylor: “Our focus now must be on repeating this high level of performance in the three games before our next break.
“They don’t come any tougher than York, Hunslet and London Skolars in quick succession, but we were still going strong at the end today (three tries in the last 12 minutes) and that says a lot about our fitness and our intensity as we head into this crucial period.
“After a week off, we were a little bit rusty early on. While that was to be expected, we put ourselves under pressure more than I would have liked. Happily, we seemed to handle it okay, and then defended well when we had to.
“In defence, our attitude, technique and structure were spot-on.
“In attack, we were both enterprising and clinical.
“Teamwork was the key and in that regard Sam Gee and Liam Thompson demonstrated what it’s all about, Gee playing hooker for the first time this season and ‘Thompo’ back in action at this level for the first time in 17 weeks after his severe facial injury.
“Both looked like they had never been away.
“Kenny Hughes, coming off the bench, also lifts us massively and goes well whenever he is on the field.
“We now need to take this form into our next three games and see where we are after that.”