‘Spanner’ in the works

Date published: Thursday, April 18, 2013

HAILING a 36-0 win at the University of Gloucestershire All Golds as a “good job well done”, Oldham RL club’s assistant coach Lee Spencer said it was always satisfying to render opponents scoreless.

Spencer, or ‘Spanner’ as he is widely known in rugby league, was given the extra responsibility of lead coach for the day by head coach and overall boss of footballing matters, Scott Naylor.
Naylor was still on hand if required, but Spencer was told to run the show at the Prince of Wales Stadium in Cheltenham, not only to provide a fresh voice in the dressing room but to aid his own development as a coach.
“I think it worked well,” said ‘Spanner’. “And I would like to thank Scott for giving me this opportunity to go it alone, although he was right there by my side had I needed him.
“As for the team performance, it’s always good to ‘nil’ the opposition, but we gave them opportunities which we need to address
“Fortunately for us, they were not strong enough to make us pay for those opportunities we presented to them or for the fact that some Oldham players moved away from our game plan.
“Other teams further down the line will punish us, so we need to work on those deficiencies.
“Also, it’s not all about stopping your opponents scoring; what you do when in possession of the ball also counts a lot.
“We scored seven tries and that in itself is commendable, but it was pleasing also to record an 85 per cent set completion rate in the first 20 minutes after half-time and, astonishingly, a 100 per cent rate in the final quarter of the game.
“Individually, Liam Thompson came through well in his first senior game of the season and Richard Lepori looked good once we had got the message on to him to stop running sideways. When he began to run straight he caused them all sorts of problems.
“Phil Joy and Michael Ward took the ball up with strength and determination when replacing Jason Boults and Callum Marriott, who had set the pattern. There was certainly no dip in performance after the starting props had been subbed.”
Brad Hepi, the All Golds’ Kiwi coach, said: “I was extremely disappointed at the way we played. We made too many schoolboy mistakes and the boys must learn from this steep learning curve.”