“The boys were excellent” – Naylor

Date published: Monday, July 29, 2013

TO beat North Wales, and to deny them a bonus point, provided Oldham with the ‘perfect scenario’, said Roughyeds boss Scott Naylor.

The home side’s 28-10 win at Whitebank — five tries to two — extended the Roughyeds’ lead at the top of Championship One to five points and threw the title race wide open.

If Naylor’s young squad can win each of their remaining three games, Crusaders can’t afford to lose one, and they’ve five still to play.

Said a delighted Naylor: “Before the game we would have been happy with a win, but to deny them a bonus point was something else. The boys were excellent.

“The deluge at half-time, when we led 18-4, made a massive difference to the game and made it tricky for both sides to keep hold of the ball.

“We didn’t complete a second-half set for what seemed like ages, but on the back of that we showed terrific desire in defence.

“The players deserve great credit for restricting the team with the best attacking record in the division to one try in each half, especially when we had so much tackling to do because of the mistakes.

“We’ve got better and grown in stature as the season has gone on and there is still enough improvement in us to carry on getting better, which is our aim for the rest of the season.

“We had no Richard Lepori today, no David Cookson and no Jason Boults, but the boys who came in, or played out of position, did excellent jobs.

“We are looking good in many different aspects.

“Crusaders are a big side physically with strike power all over the field.

“Stuart Reardon, a class act, is a friend of mine from our Bradford days. I tried to get him here, but he opted to go to Crusaders.

“He’s been injured today, and I wish him well.

“Steve Bannister is another who has played Super League, with Salford.

“In stark contrast, my group of players haven’t done anything like that, but they are young blokes who are strong, fit, can play a bit and are willing to die for each other.

“That counts for a lot. We always felt that if we were still with them after an hour we had the capability to finish the stronger, which we did.”

Crusaders coach  Clive Griffiths said Oldham were worthy winners. He had no complaints.

“We couldn’t cope with the pinpoint accuracy of Palfrey’s kicking,” he said.

“The title race is still in our hands because if we win our last five games we win it.”