What ‘Spanner’ said..

Date published: Monday, June 17, 2013
LEE Spencer, Oldham’s assistant coach, knows his rugby . . . and he needed no nudging at the post-game interviews to concede that Roughyeds posted a 36-32 win at South Wales in what he dubbed an “ugly” performance.

He was quick to point out, though, that if you can play well below your best and still come up with three league points you must be doing something right.

‘Spanner’ was in sole charge of the team at Neath in the absence of head coach Scott Naylor, whose father died in Leigh on Saturday night after a long illness.

Said ‘Spanner’: “I can’t say I’m happy with how we played, but a win’s a win, and away from home too.

“As we keep saying, we’ve got a good bunch here. Don’t forget, most of the boys were up at 6.30am for an 8.15am start from Whitebank and then the coach journey took five hours.

“We played our part in one heck of a game at Wrexham last weekend, and look what happened to North Wales today at Hemel. I think last week perhaps took a lot out of both teams.

“Early in the game, when we went 16-0 down, I wasn’t at all happy with our defence because too many of our lads took the soft option instead of taking on responsibility.

“We needed to compress our middle unit. Once we did that we looked a different team altogether and we fully deserved our 26-16 half-time lead.

“We spoke about a lot of things at half-time — and then went out and continued to be the architects of our own downfall by coming up with a set completion rate that was no more than 42 per cent.

“You can’t rightly expect to win games if you are giving your opponents so much possession and so much territorial advantage.

“Unforced errors were the biggest blight on our game.

“But we got there in the end and, once again, this was a game that showed we are the fittest side in the division.

“It’s no coincidence that we finish strongly so often — and for a loose-forward to move as well up the touchline as Hobbo (Mark Hobson) did in the dying seconds of the game, proves what we keep on saying.

“I would also like to salute Jon Ford and his FOUR tries. Essentially, he finished off team tries rather than solo efforts, but that doesn’t diminish his achievements.”