Tony B’s thoughts against Barrow

Date published: Monday, April 2, 2012

THE foundations for a top-of-the-table win against Barrow Raiders were put into place in the previous week’s cup triumph over amateurs Egremont, revealed Oldham boss Tony Benson after a Whitebank cracker.

Roughyeds used the tie to play to a new game plan for the first time — a plan that was specifically designed to do the job against the Raiders.

“We used the Egremont cup tie to try it out,” said Benson. “We didn’t reveal our entire hand up there in Cumbria, but we did enough for the boys to feel comfortable with it going into the Barrow game.[singlepic id=1161 w=320 h=240 float=left]

“Even though we scored six tries against the Raiders it was a performance built on defence.

“We put a lot of effort and pride into our defensive structures — so much so that, even after a good win like this one, the boys are hurting in the dressing room because Barrow scored 26 points.

“Our aim is to concede no more than a maximum of 17 in every game.

“We failed to achieve that for the first time in our three league games and I’m glad the boys are hurting because we let in some silly tries that they should never have scored.

“The thing that excites me is that we are winning games against good opposition when I know we can play loads better than we are doing with ball in hand.

“Our attack so far has been no more than average.

“Defence is doing the job for us, but I can’t wait for our attack to finally hit the right buttons and then we’ll see where that takes us.

“Overall, it was a good game played by two good sides which kept supporters on edge right to the end — just what rugby league is supposed to be like.

“There were a lot of good individual performances. Whitty (Danny Whitmore) did really well at stand-off. His peers were happy with his performance and that’s what matters most of all.

“I was also delighted for the young guys like Cooky (Dave Cookson), Matty (Matty Syron), Thommo (Alex Thompson) and Dally (Jamie Dallimore), who all contributed significantly and didn’t look out of place against one of the top teams in the division.

“Cooky, at centre, is getting better and better as every week passes. He scored a try, always a confidence booster for a younger player, and what about his massive hit on one of their blokes at a crucial time when the whole side was in need of a lift from something like that?

“We are continuing to improve each week, and I suppose we can allow ourselves the luxury of celebrating that while all the time keeping our feet firmly on the ground in the knowledge that Friday’s derby at Rochdale will be just as tough as this one.”