Onwards and upwards for Roughyeds

SCOTT Naylor is looking for more consistency as Oldham prepare for the second half of the regular KP Championship season in a respectable eighth place.

If they finish no lower than that they will have four home games out of seven in the end-of-season Shield, as opposed to three at Bower Fold and the rest away if they finished in the bottom four.

By winning 28-24 at Dewsbury Rams, their first away win this year, Roughyeds were the only team out of the bottom seven to pick up points last weekend.

They climbed above Rochdale Hornets into eighth spot and are only one point behind Sheffield Eagles and Batley Bulldogs with a game in hand.

“We’re doing nicely, but we need to pick up more points away from home, while maintaining our good record at Bower Fold, and we need to be more consistent. That’s the key to getting us to where we want to be.”

Scott Naylor

The pre-season target for this second crack at Championship level was to finish higher than last year, tenth, and to move up a place or two towards mid-table.

Having picked up their third win out of five league games in April, Naylor’s men are on course to achieve their objective.

They are one point and two places better off than where they were this time last year.

And a key factor this time is that, of the 11 games played so far, seven were away, four of them on the grounds of the leading quartet, Hull KR, Toulouse Olympique, Featherstone Rovers and Halifax.

Though heavily beaten at Hull KR and Toulouse, they lost 8-6 at Featherstone and 16-14 at Halifax.

Fifth-placed London Broncos, whom Roughyeds play in the capital on Sunday, needed a late try against the run of play to win 20-18 at Bower Fold in February.

After Sunday, and discounting the Summer Bash game against Rochdale at Blackpool, Oldham will have ten regular league games still to play and seven of them will be at home.

Scott Turner, who suffered concussion, was the only injury victim at the Tetley’s Stadium. His condition will be monitored at training tonight.

In addition to the players who responded to the boss’s “honest chat” at Dewsbury and turned a 24-6 interval deficit into a 28-24 win, Naylor will be looking at the claims of Jamel Chisholm, Liam Thompson, Ben Davies, Danny Grimshaw and on-loan Tuoyo Egodo for the trip south to Ealing.

Naylor, meanwhile, is calling for top-level talks between coaches, players and match officials to stop players being charged, or even banned, for accidental collisions with referees — a hot topic in rugby league this season.

Richard Lepori was last week cleared by an independent panel on a charge of making contact with the referee in the Good Friday game against Swinton.

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