Post match presentations

Date published: Monday, July 12, 2010

NEIL Roden (man of the match), Mick Fogerty (champagne moment) and Paul O’Connor (100 games) were all placed under the spotlight at official post-match Roughyeds presentations following the 42-30 win against Swinton Lions.

Earlier, O’Connor’s achievement in reaching his 100-game milestone at Gateshead seven days earlier was recognised when he was first out of the Whitebank tunnel to receive the applause of supporters.

Coach Tony Benson said it was no fluke that Paul was Mr Consistency. It happened because he was totally committed to training and because he worked desperately hard in his preparation.

“A lot of players have have reached and will reach 100 games,” said Tony, “but what sets Paul apart is that not many of them will put in as much effort over the 80 minutes of each game as this fellow.”

O’Connor, the Roughyeds’ fullback, said he was pleased to reach his milestone surrounded by a group of players with whom he was delighted to share the ups and downs of rugby league.

“We’re a team in the true sense of the word,” he added, “and the bonding is first class. The fans at Oldham are also first class and the sort of backing they give you is the kind of thing you will always remember when the time comes to hang up your boots.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by Neil Roden and Mick Fogerty when it was their turn to take the mike.

Said man of the match Neil: “Swinton gave us a tough game and it wasn’t one of our best performances, but we stuck together and showed a lot of commitment. If we continue to do that over the remainder of the season we’ll finish okay.”

Mick won his bottle of bubbly thanks to the try-saving tackle he pulled off on Swinton winger Richard Flooks when the Lions were only eight points behind in the last few minutes of a tight game.

Thanking spectators for their “unbelievable” level of vocal support, Foggy said: “The roar from the crowd when we come out of the tunnel is unbelievable. It lifts us more than any of you will know.”

There was praise, too, for the reserve team which won 36-18 at Sheffield on Saturday to complete three wins in eight days, all against the second teams of Championship clubs.

Said chairman Chris Hamilton: “The reserves and coach John Hough deserve a big round of applause. Houghie is doing a great job and we hope to finish off the season on two highs, not one.”

Speaking earlier, Swinton coach Paul Kidd described Oldham in his post-match media interview as a “quality side”.

He added: “I take off my hat to Chris Hamilton and to Oldham for what they have achieved here at Whitebank. It’s an intimidating place to have to come to, but we have had a good go and we have given a good account of ourselves.”

Later, at the official presentations, he spoke similarly and added: “There is potential for development here and I hope you go from strength to strength and get backing from the RFL. We all need that.”

Tony B, in his chat with reporters after the game, said he knew Swinton would turn up to play, and they hadn’t disappointed in that respect.

“They did a good job on us,” he said. “They kept coming back at us, and they deserve a lot of credit for that.

“As for ourselves, we had good patches and then some soft spots. Our attacking line was a little bit flat in the first half but we spoke about that at half time and it was a lot better afterwards.

“It was a stop-start sort of game and that didn’t suit us. Also we missed too many tackles. That was down to our defensive shape rather than the tackle itself.

“Some of our attacking options were not bang on, but bearing all that in mind and how well Swinton played I’m just happy to have come through with three points, although we should have stopped them getting a bonus point, and we didn’t.”