Squad juggling worked well – Scott

Date published: Monday, September 8, 2014

SCOTT Naylor did some squad juggling for the final game of the regular season, partially to have as many players as possible match fit and ready to go if called upon in the forthcoming play-offs.

For one reason or another skipper Lewis Palfrey, vice-captain Sam Gee and winger Mo Agoro were given a day off and replaced by Steven Nield, Dale Bloomfield and Ben Wood.
Michael Ward, a starting prop at Gateshead, was back on the bench, from where he invariably makes the biggest impact.
Danny Langtree was handed the captaincy.
By scoring 12 tries in a runaway 68-24 victory against the University of Gloucestershire All Golds we kept our unbeaten home record over a full regular season and we chalked up our biggest total since Scott has been at the club.
He was particularly pleased at the way in which Bloomfield, on the left wing; Nield, at full-back; and Wood, off the bench, slotted back into the side and looked as though they had never been away.
“They were chomping at the bit to get back in and I was delighted for them that they played so well,” said the Oldham boss.
“I can only play 17 and the lads who are left out see me as the bad guy. Those who are picked think I’m okay. That’s the nature of the job.
“Even at this late stage of the season, Dale, Nieldy and Woody returned to the side and played with a real hunger for a taste of the action. They couldn’t wait to get back in and that was reflected in how they played.
“It was refreshing to see and just what ‘Spanner’ (his No 2 Lee Spencer) and I were looking for.”
The 68 points Oldham scored was the highest total in Naylor’s two seasons at Whitebank.
He added: “We played some good stuff and scored 12 tries, some of them beauties, so I’ve got to be pleased as we head off into the play-offs on the back of a result like that.
“But I’ve got to be honest too — Gloucester were on the back foot with injuries and Whitebank isn’t the easiest place for opponents to come to at the best of times.
“I’m always striving for improvement and on that note I was disappointed with some of the tries we let in, although coming just a few days before the first play-off tie at Hunslet it was perhaps the right sort of game to have — one that was neither particularly tough nor physical.”