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.”

Club Cash Lottery

SINCE Covid-19 caused us to temporarily abandon door-to-door CLUB CASH lottery collections last Spring there's never been a better time to come on board and help Roughyeds to get through these hugely challenging times.

Why ? The £500-a-week rollover jackpot is back -- not only that there are now TWO £50 prizes and TWO £25 prizes in addition to the first prize of £1,000, a second prize of £100 and ten consolation prizes of £10.

But the return of the jackpot is the big lottery news. It's back this week and it's been won first time out, so next week's jackpot is again £500 but if nobody touches lucky it will go up to £1,000 the following week and increase by £500 a week, if not won, to a maximum of £10,000.

We have seriously missed the regular income from collections on the doorstep, but we cannot thank too much those supporters who have got behind the club in these unprecedented times of hardship by keeping their Club Cash memberships going or, indeed, by joining for the first time, knowing that for £1 a week they can help the club to combat Covid and prepare with confidence for the challenges of Betfred Championship rugby in 2021.

You can send a cheque to cover a set number of weeks; take out a bank standing order -- our preferred option; complete a bank transfer; or pay for several weeks up front by credit or debit card.

You can download a standing order form by clicking on the link at the end of this news release and following the instructions or you can contact our Club Cash administrator John McAndrew (tel: 07980 129541; email: or speak to the club direct on 07904 898177 or email to:

he easiest way, though, is to download a standing order form below. The latest prize updates are shown on the form as follows (all for £1): £1,000, £100, £50 (2), £25 (2), a number of £10 consolation prizes and the £500-a-week rollover jackpot.

Best of luck!

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