Reward for hard work — Naylor

Date published: Tuesday, May 28, 2013

SCOTT Naylor was more than happy with Oldham’s performance in a nine-try hammering of Gateshead Thunder . . . once his men got their act together after a slow and laboured first 20 minutes.

“For whatever reason we didn’t start well — and that’s something we need to look at — but I was very pleased indeed with how we played over the next hour,” summed up the Roughyeds’ boss.
As promised he did a spot of rotating again in selection, leaving out loose-forward Mark Hobson for the first time, promoting Liam Thompson from the bench to replace Hobson, bringing back Sam Gee at hooker and naming both Adam Files and Kenny Hughes among the substitutes.
His 17 included THREE hookers, such is the high valuation he places on his trio of dummy-half operators, but as events turned ¬†out Gee played much of the game at loose-forward and Hughes as skipper Lewis Palfrey’s half-back partner.
Said Naylor: “By midway through the first half everything got faster, better and more intense. Our fitness levels are high and as a consequence of that we seem to do better in the later stages of each half than we do earlier on.
“Once we can hit our best for 80 minutes we will be a very tough team to beat in this division and we will be well on the way to getting to where we want to be.
“Once we started to play, we came up with an excellent performance. We played with plenty of freedom, as we did at Hemel in the previous game, and we got the rewards for all the hard work we put in when bringing the ball away from our own try line.
“It was good to see so many tries being scored and so many points amassed in a home game, as opposed to on our travels and I’m sure the fans would have enjoyed it.
“I thought our middle unit was tremendous again, especially Phil Joy and Adam Files.
“Kenny Hughes also had a fantastic game, coming on as he did to replace injured Danny Whitmore at such an early stage of the contest.
“It isn’t easy for anybody to come on when you are losing and make such a difference. He deserves a lot of credit for that, especially when you consider that he normally plays at hooker.
“Both offensively and defensively he did exceptionally well, not that I was surprised by that because he is a very good all-round footballer.”