Unbeaten run counts for nothing — Naylor
Date published: 09 September 2013
OLDHAM will head into Sunday’s mouth-watering play-off clash with derby rivals Rochdale Hornets at Whitebank (3pm) boasting the longest unbeaten run in professional rugby league.
They’ve won eight and drawn one of their last nine outings and it is three months to the day since they were last beaten, going down 22-20 at North Wales Crusaders on June 9.
“That’s all very satisfying, but it doesn’t count for anything now,” said Roughyeds’ coach Scott Naylor, who watched Rochdale pip London Skolars 26-24 in a Spotland thriller yesterday to set up Sunday's derby showdown at Whitebank. Naylor’s verdict? “The better side lost.”
But he is aware that the complexity of the play-off systems mean both Rochdale and London can still threaten Roughyeds’ promotion ambitions.
Hemel Stags beat Oxford 30-26 in yesterday’s eliminator to earn a crack at Skolars in North London on Sunday in the other play-off game.
Whitebank’s winners go straight into the final on September 29, while the losers play the winners of the London-Hemel tie on September 22.
Naylor’s more pressing objective is to see his Championship One runners-up earn a fast-track route to the final.
He said: “We’ve seen already this season how passionate Oldham-Rochdale games can be and this one will be especially so because there is so much riding on it.
“Our record against them is pretty decent (three wins out of four) and if we turn up and give 100-per-cent there’s no reason we can’t beat them again.”
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