What the coaches said . . .Date published: Monday, June 22, 2015
RIVAL coaches Scott Naylor and John Duffy both had plenty to say after our great performance to win 32-26 at Swinton Lions — the home side’s first defeat of the season at Sedgley Park.
Across league and cup competitions they’ve included some big scalps in that too, like York, Keighley and Newcastle in the league, Rochdale in the Challenge Cup and Newcastle a second time in the iPro Sport Cup on their way to the final.
Before our win, the Lions’ only defeats all season were at Barrow and Rochdale in the league; at Batley Bulldogs in the Challenge Cup; and against North Wales Crusaders at Blackpool in the final of the iPro Sport Cup.
Crusaders drew at Sedgley Park in the league, but Roughyeds were the first team to win there — and that puts our performance in true perspective.
Our overall supremacy was acknowledged by Lions’ boss Duffy, who said: “Oldham’s attitude was brilliant. They out-muscled us. For 80 per cent of the game they looked like the home side.
“They are very well-drilled and very aggressive and you can’t give teams like Oldham, who will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season, a 20-point start and expect to win.
“I’m absolutely gutted by the way we approached the game. The only positive for us was how we got back into it in the first 20 minutes of the second half.
“But you have to credit Oldham. They turned up intending to bash us in the forwards, which we knew they would, and they did a good job on us.”
From our perspective, a delighted Scott said: “Since we lost to Keighley and North Wales, the players have worked tremendously hard and they deserve enormous credit. It’s all down to them and I’m unbelievably pleased for them.
“In the first half every section of the side played well, producing a great team effort in which we played most of the half within Swinton’s 40-metre zone.
“We always knew they would have a good spell at some point, but I didn’t expect it to be quite like it was at the start of the second half.
“We spoke about it at half-time, but then we went out, conceded three penalties in a row and never saw the ball for fully 11 minutes.
“When that happens you are always going to be under pressure, but I thought the most decisive play of the game was Lewis Palfrey’s 40-20, which took some of the sting out of them and gave us a huge lift when we needed it most.
“We regained control after that. It enabled us to put Swinton under pressure again and then they started giving penalties away and we were able to put some more points on the board to give us some breathing space.
“Swinton are good at scoring tries so it was important we controlled field position and kept them as far away from our line as possible for as long as possible.”
For the record, we scored three tries in the first 12 minutes and went on to lead 22-4 at half-time.
Swinton rocked us back on our heels by scoring three tries in quick succession at the start of the second half to peg us back to 22-20, but we steadied, regained our composure and went out to 32-20 with George Tyson’s second try and three Lewis Palfrey goals.
In the last minute, Andy Thornley grabbed another try for the Lions to make it five tries apiece, but we kept them at bay in the dying seconds to pull off a thoroughly deserved win.
Scorers: Oldham — goals, Palfrey (6); tries, Langtree, Tyson (2), Crowley, Clay; Swinton — goals, Atkin (3); tries, Robinson, Govin, Lloyd, Butt, Thornley.
Swinton: Atkins; Robinson, Littler, Rothwell, Butt; White, Lloyd; James, Ackers, Austin, Thornley, Beecham, Lever. Subs: Morrison, Hawkyard, Gallagher, Govin.
Oldham: Gee; Clay, Tyson, Ford, Holmes; Palfrey, Roper; Neal, Owen, P Joy, Crowley, Langtree, Thompson. Subs: Mason, Ward, Files, Roberts.
Ref: A Sweet; Att: 625.