TB’s comments

Date published: Monday, March 14, 2011

TONY Benson, the Roughyeds’ team boss, was happier than he has been for weeks after seeing his side rattle up 66 points in the opening league game against Gateshead Thunder at Whitebank.

It was Roughyeds’ biggest score since they piled up 68 points at Gateshead last July — and it beat by two the total Benson’s men put on the Tynesiders in the equivalent home game last year, played at Sedgley Park.

In each of those games Roughyeds ran in a dozen tries, and they scored another 12 yesterday to get their league campaign off to a flying start.

“You can only play what’s in front of you,” said Benson in acknowledging that Thunder won’t be the toughest opponents Oldham will have to face in the coming months.

Nevertheless, he lauded his men for their commitment and their desire and he said he wasn’t surprised by the way they played much better than they had done in the previous few games.

He said: “We were more composed, better organised and able to keep our shape much better than we did in our last three Northern Rail Cup games.

“We pushed forward from the rucks with more purpose and the players worked hard to create opportunities for team mates in that key area.

“I was impressed with our defensive work as well. Thunder scored two tries late on, but they were from our attacking mistakes, the first one especially.

“This performance will have given us a lot of confidence. And in terms of building us up for the trip to Workington next Sunday it will have restored a lot of self-belief.”

Club chairman Chris Hamilton said that in the first half Roughyeds were “exceptional” on both attack and defence.

He added: “Our enthusiasm to defend our line was superb.”