DESCRIBING the defeat by Swinton as “the most disappointing performance and result in my three and a bit years at the club”, Oldham RL boss Scott Naylor said the Lions had more desire and fully deserved their 28-18 victory.
It was their first Championship win of the season at the eighth attempt.
Not a happy man, Naylor said: “We didn’t get started and for some reason they seemed to want it more than we did.
“They played intelligently, but the biggest difference was in how hard they tackled and how hard they worked.”
Oldham stay third from bottom with a game in hand and a significantly better for-and-against record than the two clubs below them, Workington Town and Swinton.
It was the second defeat in four days for Naylor’s men, who were beaten 42-28 by Halifax at Bower Fold on Friday.
The Swinton game, played at Sale RU Club, was the first of four Championship games between the clubs this season, so opportunity will knock for Roughyeds in terms of turning the tables.
It didn’t help when Danny Langtree had a recurrence of hamstring trouble in the warm-up on the pitch before the Halifax game and when Adam Clay pulled out of the side that played Swinton because he was feeling unwell.
To make matters worse Jack Holmes suffered a serious ankle injury midway through the first half.
Added Naylor: “We need to get back to the principles on which we have built this team over the last three years —- hard work for 80 minutes, determination and a never-say-die approach at all times.
“We’ve won a lot of games because we gave 100 per cent from start to finish and came off the field knowing we couldn’t have done more.
“It’s no use going heavily behind, as we have done in the last two games, and then deciding to have a real go when we have nothing to lose.”
Asked why goal-line tackling was poor, he said: “We gave them too many yardage penalties which allowed them to spend plenty of time on our goal line.
“We then didn’t have the line speed and the contact to defend our own line, which was very disappointing.
“On attack we seemed to be lacking in confidence. We’ve tried to play in a different way but we seem to be struggling.
“If you can’t defend your line and you can’t score at the other end you’re not going to win many games.”
Roughyeds went 28-0 down before scoring 18 points unanswered with tries by Danny Grimshaw, Adam Files and Jon Ford, all improved by Lewis Palfrey.
Team: Gee; Ford, Holmes, Johnson, Lepori; Grimshaw, Palfrey; Joy, Owen, Dickinson, Middlehurst, Spencer, Hope, Subs: Ward, Hughes, Files, Thompson.
Referee: Sam Ansell; Att: 823.