Tony’s comments

Date published: Monday, April 12, 2010

ROUGHYEDS did more than extend their winning run to six in a row in South Wales on Sunday . . . they proudly achieved the squad’s first in-house goal of the season which was to emerge from the opening five league wins with a maximum 15 points.

The target was purposely kept quiet among players and coaching staff until it was in the bag, after which coach Tony Benson was delighted to make it known to supporters and to describe it as “very rewarding after an extremely tough nine days.”

“After the opening league win at Swinton,” he revealed, “we set ourselves this challenge and the boys are delighted to have pulled it off, especially after all the things that have conspired against us.”

He said Roughyeds had faced one of the toughest weeks of any team in the division with two Easter games — some teams played only one — followed by the long trip to South Wales, which meant a 7.30 am departure from Oldham and a 6.30 am start from home for players who lived in other parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire.

He added: “Needless to say, the win against the Scorpions was a good win and one which made me really happy.

“South Wales are a good side. They put you under a lot of pressure with their enthusiasm alone. They are very physical in defence; they scramble well; and they are difficult to attack against.

“It was our third game in nine days and that, plus the early start and the five-hour bus journey made things very difficult for us.

“Our defence was strong. We made some individual errors with the ball — possibly the result of tiredness — but the tenacity of the team was once again brilliant and I cannot praise the boys enough for that.

“What was must do is improve our attack and our attacking options. There were periods when we looked good but there were others when we looked a little bit flat and we had poor shape.

“At 22-10 we were just starting to get on top again when an error gifted them another try and pulled them up to 22-16. The game swung the other way then and put us under a lot of pressure in the last five minutes but we managed to handle it.”

Only Blackpool and Oldham still boast 100 per cent records in Co-operative Championship 1, but we lie third behind Hunslet and the Panthers on scoring difference although we have a game in hand on the Hawks.

Attention this Sunday switches to the Carnegie Challenge Cup tie and our tie at Hunslet which will be our third visit to the South Leeds Stadium following a defeat there in the Northern Rail Cup and a victory in the league.

The club’s medical staff will be working overtime this week with at least 11 players requiring attention for a variety of pulls, strains, twists and bruises.

Matty Ashe, Craig Robinson and Wayne Kerr didn’t play in South Wales while eight of those who did — Mick Fogerty, Marcus St Hilaire, Ben Heaton, Joe Chandler, Paul Reilly, Martin Roden, Paul O’Connor and Lucas Onyango — will also be on the treatment table this week.

The club is running a supporters’ bus to Hunslet on Sunday, priced at £7.50 per person, leaving Mecca Bingo at 12.45pm and the Black Horse, Ripponden Road at 1.00pm. A minimum of ten bookings need to be made before the trip gets the green light so fans intending to travel by this means are asked to book as soon as possible with a call to the club on 0161 628 3677.