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Roughyeds cruise to eighth straight victory
Monday 18th June 2018 @ 12:33 by Mark Phillip


This wasn’t one of Oldham’s best performances in a run of eight league wins on the bounce, but they finished strongly with 26 points in the last 20 minutes to maintain their momentum.

Coach Scott Naylor had warned beforehand that Skolars were a stronger, bigger, more aggressive side than results and league position suggested and he was right in every respect.

After a sizzling start, in which they scored tries by Dave Hewitt and Zack McComb inside the first six minutes, Naylor’s men found themselves only six points ahead midway through the second half, and down to 12 men with Adam Jones in the sin-bin.

He was given a yellow card for leading with an elbow when in possession of the ball.

At that crucial stage of the game it was vitally important that Oldham scored next.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the brilliant Danny Langtree scattered the Skolars defence to score — and the home side never looked back.

With Langtree and hat-trick hero Danny Bridge in magnificent form, they stormed home on the back of Bridge’s three tries in the 67th, 75th and 80th minutes and another by Jack Holmes in the 71st minute.

Oldham began and finished with flashes of promotion-type rugby, but in between they were a bit sloppy.

Honest and realistic as ever, Naylor was quick to point out afterwards that it will require a much better performance over the full 80 minutes if his side is to beat promotion rivals Hunslet at their place on Sunday.

In the battle of the big men up front — and Skolars were huge — Oldham missed the physical presence of Luke Nelmes, who was rested for the first time this year.

Centre McComb was the pick of the outside backs with Phil Joy top prop and the superb Bridge and Langtree forming a twin strike force that was unstoppable at times.

Skolars had a big, mobile pack and a clever midfield play-maker in old-timer Jermaine Coleman, the club coach who picked himself for the first time this season and showed that class is permanent.

As one would expect from a side with the second best defensive record in the division, Roughyeds lacked nothing in the tackling department and did well to restrict the visitors to tries by winger Illess Macani and second-rower Eddie Mbaraga.

On the flip side Oldham’s eight tries went to Hewitt, McComb, Wilkinson, Langtree, Bridge (3) and Holmes with Paul Crook landing six conversions from eight attempts.

Team: Hooley; Eccleston, Holmes, McComb, Kershaw; Crook, Hewitt; Joy, Owen, Spencer, Bridge, Langtree, Bent. Subs: Jones, Wilkinson, Briscoe, Davies.

Referee: Jonathon Roberts; Att: 419.

By Roger Halstead