What Tony said..

Date published: Monday, March 8, 2010

by ROGER HALSTEAD

For once in a while Tony Benson wasn’t quite sure what to say when asked to sum up Oldham’s record-breaking performance against Welsh amateurs Blackwood Bulldogs at Sedgley Park on Sunday.

The articulate Kiwi is not usually stuck for words when making his post-match summaries, but he admitted to being in something of a quandary on this occasion.

“We were 36-0 up at half time,” he said, “but I wasn’t quite sure what to say in the dressing room. It was a very strange situation. We had run in 36 points while not producing anything fantastic, yet not doing anything wrong. What do you say in circumstances like that?

“Before the game I had no idea what to expect from Blackwood. I didn’t know what type of game they would play. They tried to slow us down at the rucks, but you’ve got to give them credit for that.

“Then there were THOSE kicks. I reckon we can learn a lot from the accuracy of their short restart kicks which must have denied us at least ten sets of possession.

“They caused us a lot of problems and I was concerned about possible injuries because players going up and stretching high for the ball leave themselves wide open to possible injury. Happily, that didn’t happen.

“As far as our performance was concerned, there’s a fine line between throwing the ball around all over the place and sticking to a plan. I think we probably got it about right.

“Defensively we were pretty good apart from the big lapse just after half-time when they scored their only try.

“To sum up I would say this: I am happy to be in the next round; happy we didn’t pick up injuries to speak of; and reasonably happy with our performance.

“I was really happy at the way we kept focused to the end and scored more points in the second half than we did in the first. Leading 36-0 at half-time it would have been easy to let go a little bit.

“There were some good tries and everyone had some fun on lthe back of a lot of good rugby mixed in with some physical stuff.”

Lucas Onyango and Craig Robinson picked up knocks but the early assessment was that they would be okay for Friday night’s far more demanding task at Hunslet in the league.