SCOTT Naylor’s decision to give six regulars a rest did not stop the Roughyeds’ juggernaut rolling on to its eighth win in nine games.

With a massive challenge at Hunslet this Sunday, and then the play-offs, the Oldham boss chose to go to Warwickshire without centre Zack McComb, full-back Ritchie Hawkyard, hooker Matty Wilkinson, second-row man Danny Bridge, utility forward Ed Smith and half-back David Hewitt.

Some were carrying knocks, others were rested as Naylor confirmed his belief in the squad system, especially at the business end of the season with all the cut-and-thrust and pressures of play-off rugby.

On-loan youngster Luke Hooley replaced veteran Hawkyard at full-back, Jack Holmes returned at centre for McComb, Adam Brook, another loanee, was in for Hewitt, Jamie Greenwood took Wilkinson’s regular spot on the bench and Emmerson Whittel partnered Danny Langtree in the second-row with props Jack Spencer and Ben Davies returning to the bench.

It was a new-look line-up but nobody would have guessed it as Roughyeds made it five wins in a row and played with the enthusiasm and authority in attack and defence that similarly whacked top-six rivals Newcastle Thunder and Doncaster in the last two home games.

On attack they scored nine tries by eight different


Star man Langtree got two and the other seven came from Liam Bent, Brook, Holmes, Kyran Johnson, Declan Kay, Phil Joy and Davies.

Defensively they kept a clean sheet until seven minutes from the end when a speculative kick ricocheted off an Oldham defender and gave Jack Jones a fortuitous walk-in for the Bears.

“It was good to see the lads who came into the side doing so well because the squad is our strength at this time of year,” said Naylor, whose days at the club are now rapidly ebbing away.

What a way to go if he could lead Roughyeds to his second promotion in seven years at the club.

Langtree was back to his best, scoring his first try from his usual spot as right-side second-rower and his second from right centre when he was filling in for Cameron Leeming, who was taken off at half-time with a tight hamstring.

Kay and Johnson on the wings, looked good; Whittel in the second-row was strong and hard working; Gareth Owen was creative and inventive from dummy half in his two spells; and Joy and Scott Law were dominant as front-row enforcers.

Of those who came into the side, none did better than half-back Brook and sub forwards Spencer and Davies, the latter producing his best performance of the season so far and looking for all the world like the hugely experienced forward he undoubtedly is.

Bent early on and Joy and Davies in the later stages scored the tries that confirmed Oldham’s pack supremacy, while Langtree’s brace and others by Holmes, Johnson and Kay underlined that Roughyeds also had plenty to offer out wide.

Brook’s confidence to take on the opposition was rewarded with a great solo try in the first half while his ability with ball in hand was evident when he sent Johnson in at the corner with a gem of a pass behind his back to start the second-half scoring spree.

The Bears did not have the calibre of Newcastle or Doncaster, but Oldham could only play what was in front of them and they came up with a lot of good stuff.

Paul Crook added to the nine tries with seven successful conversions.

Team: Hooley; Kay, Holmes, Leeming, Johnson; Brook, Crook; Joy, Owen, Law, Whittel, Langtree, Bent.

Subs: Beckett, Greenwood, Spencer, Davies.

Referee: Liam Staveley.