SCOTT Naylor asked his beleagured players for a response after two awful defeats over Easter , , , and what a fantastic response he got.
“In the context of how we played against Halifax and Swinton, this was something big,” said the Oldham boss, of the 28-12 win against a Batley Bulldogs side that came to Bower Fold with only one defeat in eight Championship games so far this season.
They drew with Bradford Bulls, lost by two points at Featherstone and conquered Leigh Centurions, Sheffield Eagles, Dewsbury Rams. Halifax, Whitehaven and Workington.
A stunned Bulldogs boss John Kear said: “We’ve been reading too much about ourselves in the press. We are very disappointed with how we played, but Oldham played very well, particularly in defending their line.”
A rousing show by Naylor’s men was similar in many ways to the performance that saw off Dewsbury Rams — Batley’s near neighbours and derby rivals — a few weeks ago.
Said Naylor: “We were good in everything we did today. The players deserve all the credit. All 17 of them got stuck in and proved to Batley that when we do things right we are extremely difficult to play against.
“Our goal-line defence was very good and that comes from a collective desire to stop opponents’ scoring no matter what the state of the game at any one time.
“Those were the sort of things we spoke about during the week.
“The dressing room is such a better place to be after a performance like this.
“It’s only two points on the ladder, I know, but it represents a big win for our club for one or two reasons.
“A crucial part of the game was the first 20 minutes after half-time when our set completion rate ran at 100 per cent.”