SCOTT Naylor’s tenacious tacklers boast the best defensive record in Betfred League 1 after their 50-6 win against North Wales Crusaders and Bradford’s 30-28 home defeat by York City Knights.
Having played 18 of their 26 games in the regular season, Oldham have let in 209 points — ten fewer than league leaders Bradford.
On average Roughyeds have conceded 11.6 points a game and that’s an indication, says Naylor, of the tenacity in defence that will stand Roughyeds in good stead in what is sure to be a nail-biting scrap to finish in the play-off four.
He was given a red card and banished from the touchline by referee Michael Mannifield after questioning the official’s decision to award Crusaders a penalty shortly before half-time.
The Roughyeds boss, who watched the rest of the game from up in the stand, wouldn’t comment afterwards, but he had plenty to say about his team and the way they got their play-off challenge back on track after a dodgy spell.
“It was nice to get back to something like the team we were before the recent run of poor results.
“It’s always good to score a few points, but it’s good to keep the opposition’s score down too and I was very pleased at the way we defended to restrict Crusaders to one try, as we have done in a few games this year. That’s a real positive.
“We played a lot more direct. The forwards were very good and how good was it to see Danny Langtree back in the team and going so well ?
“All in all it was a big day at the office for club and fans, but we’v got to continue in the same mood at Doncaster next week.
“We need to be consistently good in defence and also with ball in hand and if we are, the results will take care of themselves.
“It needs to be another good day at the office next Sunday because from here on in it’s all about consistency.”
Crusaders coach Anthony Murray, a former Oldham player, said he was very disappointed with his team’s performance.
“Oldham are fighting towards the top of this division and they deserve to be there because they’re a very good team.
“Sometimes you look back at a defeat and at the way you lost and I have to say I was very disappointed at that performance.”