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Long: We can get even better

AFTER his first victory in pre-season, Sean Long said his men will only improve as the season goes on.

Oldham produced a commanding performance over promotion rivals Keighley – who were recently relegated from the championship – in their first game back in over three months.

“We’ve been working hard for the past six weeks in pre-season and I think we’re only going to get better, because we set our standards quite high,” said the Roughyeds boss.

“I thought it was a good game and we played with a good intensity. Keighley turned up to play and they were a challenge for us.”

Despite scoring nine tries, Long came away from West Yorkshire with plenty of things to work on over the next stage of pre-season.

“In the first half, I felt we didn’t control the ball as much as we wanted and we made too many errors, but we amended that in the second half and turned the ball over in the right areas,” he said.

“Our ruck control, in the first twenty minutes, was a bit scratchy with us getting used to the new laws and interpretations, but then we managed to get hold of that and we controlled it a lot better in the second half.

“The pleasing thing for me as a coach is we kept them to zero in the second forty.”

Long also had high praise for his forward pack, as well as former Rochdale centre Ben O’Keefe.

“It was a great team performance, but I thought Ben was outstanding – as well as Logan (Astley). Also, our middles led the line really well for us,” he said.

The Roughyeds boss provided an injury update following concern for Mackenzie Turner who received treatment after running back in an attempt to prevent Keighley’s second try.

“Mackenzie felt his hamstring when he was running back for their try, and Ted (Chapelhow) also had a bang on the head,” he added.

“We can’t say too much at the moment while we wait to see the results of the scan.”

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