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The best we’ve looked so far — Naylor

SCOTT Naylor was delighted to be back at the Vestacare Stadium and delighted to see his new-look squad run in nine tries in a 52-6 win against Keighley Cougars on the new artificial pitch.

The Roughyeds’ big pack laid down the foundations for victory in this third and final pre-season game for Naylor’s men, who don’t play again until they go to Whitehaven for their Betfred League 1 opener on Sunday, February 18.

Winning two and losing one of their ‘friendlies’ (two of them away against Championship sides), Oldham have scored 86 points in total and conceded 46 while also regaining silverware in the shape of the Law Cup.

“But this was definitely the best we’ve looked so far” said the Roughyeds boss in his post-game summary of the rout of Keighley.

Neither side was at anything like full strength, but Oldham looked good in a performance that held rich promise for the tougher challenges that lie ahead.

Added Naylor:

“After two games on heavy pitches, it was good to play on a dry surface with no rain. That made all the difference. We looked good, strong and better with ball in hand. It was a solid performance all round.”

“Our middle unit did us proud. We’ve got some big forwards and it’s a waste of talent to use them only on yardage sets or when we need them to get us out of trouble. They’re worth more than that and they deserve more than that.”

“I also like to use them with good ball in good attacking positions. It keeps the opposition guessing and it’s good for our big fellas too because they like to score tries and they like to be recognised as more than just yardage men. Overall, it was a good team effort.”

Three of the nine tries were scored by his ‘big fellas’ — Levy Nzoungou, Phil Joy and Danny Bridge — while another of his heavyweight props, Luke Nelmes, delivered the final pass for the Nzoungou try and twice slipped the ball like a half-back only to see his fellow front-rower, Joy, stopped on the line.

Joy and Bridge finally went in thanks to the brilliant running and distribution from dummy half of 20-year-old Matty Wilkinson, a worthy man of the match.

Said Naylor:

“He has the ability to spot the gap, go for it, and then deliver the right pass. We sometimes forget how young he is. He’s got all his career ahead of him so going forward he’s got to be a good bet.”

“He’s also got a great attitude to training and to this club so that’s got to be good for himself and good for Oldham.”

Keighley coach Craig Lingard said he was disappointed because he gave his fringe players a chance to cement their places in the first team and they didn’t take it.

He added:

“Eight or nine regulars didn’t play and then we lost Lewis Fairhurst through illness on the morning of the game so we had to play with only one (recognised) half-back.”

“Oldham play a simplistic game of high completion with tough and aggressive carries. We defended touchline to touchline, but we didn’t need to and our centres and wings could have pushed us inside a lot more.”

“We faced a side (Oldham) we expect to be in the top three of League 1 but our strategy in picking the squad we did failed to pay off against what is (effectively) a Championship pack.”



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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

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