THOUGH disappointed not to have picked up a shock win, Oldham’s assistant boss Peter Carey said he was “delighted” with the overall performance in a 24-32 loss to Hull KR — a sign, he said, that better days lie ahead.
“We played well in spells at Swinton last week,” he said. “The plan this week was to find a consistent level and stick to it for 80 minutes, which I would say we did.
“Each and every player did well. We stuck to the game plan and in the first 20 minutes we had a near-100 per cent completion rate.
“We were playing exactly how we had asked them to play and from the coaching staff’s point of view that’s really pleasing.
“Towards the end of the first half we slackened our grip a little bit and they crept back into it.
“We talked at half-time about still being in the game despite the 16 points they scored in the run-up to half time. I didn’t think the half-time score reflected our level of performance in the first 40 minutes.
“We also talked about how important it was for us to start the second half as we had started the first, but a couple of crucial decisions went against us and got us on the back foot.
“Another aspect of today’s performance that was good was the way in which the halves took the ball to the line, this creating a better service out wide to people like ‘Langers’ (Danny Langtree).
“We’ve got to build on this now, sort out the little things that will improve us even more and go into the next couple of games, both at home, with a lot more confidence and self
We started magnificently with three tries in the first ten minutes by Joe Burke, David Hewitt and Sam Wood, all of them converted beautifully by Scott Leatherbarrow.
It was Leatherbarrow’s break in the first set that created the chance for Burke to score under the posts.
A Hewitt interception try followed soon afterwards — he ran nearly the full length of the pitch — and then Wood touched down after Rovers had failed to tidy up a low trajectory kick from Hewitt to the corner.
We led 18-0 until close to half time but then things started to go Rovers way. Three penalties in a row proved costly for us and the visitors scored three tries themselves in the last seven minutes of the half to trail 18-16 at the interval.
In the second half they went out to 32-18, but we scored again when more pressure allowed Darnell McIntosh to fly in at the corner and score a try which Leatherbarrow goaled again off the touchline.
Oldham scorers: tries, Burke, Hewitt, Wood, McIntosh; goals, Leatherbarrow 4/4.
Team: Turner; Clay, Tyson, Wood, McIntosh; Hewitt, Leatherbarrow; Neal, Hughes, Burke, Adamson, Langtree, Spencer. Subs: Hill. Dickinson, Owen, Davies.
Ref, Chris Campbell; Att: 1,066.