SCOTT Naylor was suitably impressed by Oldham’s 20-0 win against Whitehaven, describing the performance as “one of our best in the last two months.”
The Cumbrians, who recently went six wins in a row to climb to fourth place in the table, have failed to score this season in home and away clashes with the Roughyeds.
The win kept Oldham in fourth place, but with Workington, Doncaster and Hunslet also victorious it’s still a five-club scrap for three available play-off spots.
Of the five, Roughyeds have by far the best for-and-against record and their robust performance against Whitehaven suggested they might be returning to their best at the right time.
“In terms of intensity, energy and defensive work it was spot-on, one of our best for a long time.
“The forwards were very strong defensively and the backs did exceptionally well in yardage.
“We also took our chances a little bit better than we have been doing.
“We knew Whitehaven would come at us with a fiery start. We had spoken about that in preparation.
“We felt we needed to match their physicality for ten minutes and then kick-on from there, and that’s pretty much what happened.
“It’s always nice to produce a good performance and to ‘nil’ your opponents and it was just what we needed as we now head to Newcastle for what will be another tough clash.
“Early indications are that we have come through with no knocks or bumps so I’m expecting to have 23 players to pick from, 22 of our own plus on-loan Lee Kershaw.”
Haven player-coach Carl Forster said:
“When Oldham were 12-0 up in the second half all they had to do was complete their sets, do their tackling and drill the ball into touch and they had the right men to do just that in Paul Crook and Dave Hewitt.
“They controlled the game between them and played it at their own pace.
“Oldham are a good team. They ran harder and tackled harder than we did .
“We’ve a bit of soul-searching to do, but we’re still only two points behind the chasing pack so we’ve not given up yet on getting in the play-offs.
“If we don’t make it we’ll think we’ve under-achieved.”