We had to tackle, tackle, tackle

SCOTT Naylor delegated assistant boss Lee Spencer to conduct the post-game media briefing after Oldham’s 56-14 mauling by a Championship-leading Leigh Centurions side with sights set on promotion to Super League.

Said ‘Spanner’: “We made a lot of mistakes in possession in the first half and that was of our own doing. You can’t regularly defend three sets on the trot and not be adversely affected later in the game.

“Most teams in the division would struggle against Leigh if they quickly gave the ball back on the few occasions they got their hands on it and also conceded a pile of penalties. Because of things like that we had to tackle, tackle, tackle.

“Four unforced errors and nine penalties conceded, all in the first half, gave Leigh an extra 13 sets to go at us down the slope in hot, sunny conditions — full-timers against part-timers too.

“The lads are totally committed to themselves and to us and there was no way we could fault their effort. They worked their socks off to contain Leigh for the first half hour or so, but for the reasons I’ve already spoken about we were bound to feel the adverse affects later in the game.

“You’ve also got to applaud Leigh. They are a good side, well structured and with players all over the field who have the skill levels to punish you. They are not top of the league by accident.

“They didn’t need any help, but we gave then free possession. Simple as that.”

Neil Jukes, the Leigh coach, said: “We have a lot of quality in the side and when we put on our ‘A’ game we are very difficult to play against. We haven’t done it much in the last few games, but last week-end (while Oldham were battling to cope with Warrington) we had a weekend off and we spent it to sort out a few things on the training pitch.

“The penny’s dropped now. We needed to do the hard work first before putting on fancy plays. We ticked every box today. Did we play our ‘A’ game ? We did — our ‘B’ game and our ‘C’ game too.”

Oldham went ahead with a solo try by Danny Grimshaw from half way after 14 minutes, but by half-time Leigh led 26-6 and they added another 30 points in the second half before we hit them with two late consolation tries by Liam Johnson and Danny Langtree.

Team: Simpson; Clay, Johnson, Grimshaw, Chisholm; Roper, Owen; Joy, Leeming, Ward, Middlehurst, Thompson, Hope. Subs: Hughes, Burke, Gee, Langtree.

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