Praise for “unsung heroes”

Date published: Monday, June 3, 2013
SCOTT Naylor praised the work of his three “unsung heroes” after victory over London Skolars lifted Oldham RL into third place in the table.
Roughyeds are one point behind second-placed Oxford with a game in hand, while boasting the second-best defensive record in the division and the second biggest points margin in the difference between those scored and those conceded.

Naylor’s men face their next big test against league leaders North Wales at Wrexham on Sunday (2.30pm kick off), having been beaten there 48-12 in the Northern Rail Cup on the opening day of the season last March.

While other players have taken most of the plaudits from a run in which Roughyeds have won four of their last five league games, Naylor said the performances of full-back Richard Lepori and wingers Dale Bloomfield and Mo Agoro were major factors in the success.

He added: “All three of them work extremely hard in returning the ball at the start of exit sets and that invariably puts us on the front foot.

“They excelled at that against London, but it was no surprise because they have been doing it week in and week out all season.

“When you’ve got two wingers and a full-back who can do that regularly you can’t put a value on it. They deserve a lot of credit.”

Naylor also lauded his two half-backs, Lewis Palfrey and Kenny Hughes, the latter having won the boss’s vote to partner the club captain ahead of long-serving Neil Roden.

Said Naylor: “Palfrey’s kicking game was key to our win. It often put London under a lot of pressure and it provided us with a lot of possession in good field position which in turn enabled us to win the game with that late surge.

“Hughes also had another good game, especially so when you consider that he isn’t a regular half-back.”

Oldham appeared to come through relatively unscathed, although more will be known about bumps and bruises after Tuesday’s training session.