Tony’s comments

Date published: Monday, June 14, 2010

TONY Benson said the Roughyeds’ teamwork and total commitment to the cause were the main ingredients of the performance that earned a 28-18 win against Doncaster at Whitebank on Sunday (June 13).

In a win-win situation the Dons coach Tony Miller was also happy to have picked up a bonus point against rivals who were top of the competition ladder.

“Our destiny is in our own hands now . . . well, almost,” said Benson. “We’ve seven games left now, after a three-week break, and the theme in the dressing room before kick-off was that we had to win this one to keep on track for finishing top.

“We’ve been helped a little bit by Rochdale today (they beat Hunslet) and that shows again just how competitive this division is.

“Doncaster were difficult. They never gave up and they kept coming back at us, but our defence was superb. Communication and control were good; the boys played for each other; and 1 to 17 played important parts in what was a very tough encounter.

“We played the conditions well and with a style that suited the weather.

“It was a team effort, but Chris Clarke went well up front; Mick Fogerty had a blinder in the centre; Neil Roden and Greg McNally controlled things well in difficult conditions; Valu Bentley did very well indeed considering he had been out of action for so long; and Wayne Kerr had his biggest game of the season.

“We’ve got a good squad, but a small squad. People are playing out of position and playing well and Clarkey (Chris Clarke) was a typical example of that today. He didn’t look at all out of place in the front-row, did he.

“On top of that Martin Roden and Danny Whitmore each did a good job from dummy half to give us a bit of a foothold, and as for Paul O’Connor you come to expect nothing else but a top game from our Mr Consistency.”

Miller was also pleased with the effort and commitment of his side — and the way his men mounted a late rally to salvage a bonus point in their quest to reach the play-offs.

“We conceded three tries off kicks,” he said, “and in conditions like that kicks are always difficult to defend against. Overall, though, I didn’t think there was all that much difference between the sides.”

Roughyeds now have three weeks without a game and in the middle of that period the players will be given some time off in which to recharge their batteries.

The break will also give players the opportunity to get over nigglings injuries which many of them have been carrying for a few weeks.

Latest injury worries are those of Luke Sutton, who has a knee injury, and Ben Heaton, who sustained a suspected broken thumb against Doncaster and was forced to withdraw at half-time.

The match also represented the fourth and final game of Gregg McNally’s initial one-month loan period from Huddersfield. It remains to be seen now whether there will be any further developments.

The player would be happy to stay a while longer if he got the opportunity, but before that could happen both Oldham and Huddersfield would have to agree.