Mixed Emotions for Spanner

ASSISTANT coach Lee Spencer gave an insight into what went wrong as Oldham’s roller-coaster first season in the Kingstone Press Championship ebbed to a tame finale.

In a game that had little significance for the Roughyeds, Scott Naylor took the opportunity to take a back seat and to put Spencer in charge for the day.

‘Spanner’ had mixed emotions after watching his injury-hit side slide to a 30-12 defeat.

On the one hand he lauded a major achievement in finishing outside the bottom two at the first attempt; on the other he found it hard to be positive about this offering in the Tetley’s Stadium.

He said: “Yardage penalties killed us again. The Rams didn’t have to fight to get out of their 20; we made it easy for them.

“We did seven more defensive sets than them in the first-half — an extra 42 tackles. That takes its toll. Getting players sin-binned didn’t help either.

“There were other factors too. We were guilty of dumb rugby when taking a short kick-off with only 12 men on the field and kicking to the wing where we had no winger because he was in the bin.

“As it happened it didn’t matter too much because we were offside at the kick.

“I know there was little to play for other than pride and a bit of winning money, but it’s hard to be positive, nevertheless.

“Having said that, a few things didn’t go our way. It was a massive blow to lose Scott Turner with concussion early in the game.

“We had ‘Lippy’ (Richard Lepori) on the bench with the intention of putting him on at loose-forward at the appropriate time so that he could run at the big Rams pack as they started to tire.

“We had to abandon that when Scott Turner went off, meaning that all our forwards had to do more game-time than planned.

“The middle unit in its entirety deserved big wraps for that. I’m disappointed though because it’s the first time we’ve lost hen I’ve been in charge so that’s my 100 per cent record shattered.

“But hey-ho, it’s been a good season; we achieved what we set out to do; and now we can all take a well-earned rest for a few weeks before the start of pre-season in November.”

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