IT HAS long been said that defence wins you games and this was no exception, as Oldham stood firm against Hunslet to win 30-6, writes Kasey Smith.

For all of Oldham’s attacking prowess, which consists of some dangerous, pacey players, it was their defence that was most impressive.

Hunslet put Roughyeds under the pump for long periods in the back end of the first half, which continued into the second with their pressure finally paying off when they scored through Joe Law.

After the try Craven was sin-binned for expressing his frustration when it was allowed to stand, which shifted the momentum in Hunslet’s favour – or so it was thought

Actually, with only twelve men on the field, it was Oldham who were the better side.

Oldham have been working on starting fast in recent weeks and they got what they were looking for when Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e turned and spun his way past the Hunslet defenders to score after just three minutes.

A slick move out left, with a perfectly-timed pass from Astley, allowed Cian Tyrer to dive over to make it 10-0, inside ten minutes.

It was far from a walk-over though and Hunslet dug in as they asked questions of the Oldham line, forcing goal-line drop-outs.

Oldham had a two score advantage at half-time, but could have made it easier for themselves had Laulu-Togaga’e and Tyrer taken their chances.

Laulu-Togaga’e – who is at his most dangerous when running at defences – was perhaps guilty of overplaying by opting to run, rather than pass out wide where there were easier routes to score.

Likewise, Tyrer has been so deadly on the wing for Oldham this season, and he was again today, but he wasted opportunities with speculative offloads and kicks early in the tackle count.

Hunslet responded when a cross-field Michael Lawrence kick was batted by Goddard into the path of Law who scored, with Craven sin-binned in the aftermath.

Then they were handed a gift from an unforced Oldham error, but in the next phase of play their grubber kick to the line could only sail out of play.

Then a real mess at the back, when Jimmy Watson failed to collect a powerful Astley kick which cannoned off a Hunslet player, allowed Aldridge to restore Oldham’s advantage.

Another Hunslet error followed, allowing George Hirst – who has gone from an Almondbury Spartans amateur to one of Roughyeds’ strongest forwards – directed a basketball-style pass into the path of Tyrer who did the rest to make it 20-6.

Just after the hour-mark, Astley scored Oldham’s sixth after collecting, and grounding, his own kick in the Hunslet goal-line.

Hunslet battled hard for the final 15 minutes but Oldham weathered the storm and Cian Tyrer completed his hat-trick five minutes from time to wrap up the win.

n Scorers:

Oldham: goals, Tyrer 3/6; tries, Laulu-Togaga’e, Tyrer x3, Aldridge, Astley

Hunslet: goals, Flanagan Jr 1/1; tries, Law

OLDHAM: Laulu-Togaga’e; Jack Johnson, Roebuck, O’Keefe, Tyrer; Craven, Astley; Farnworth, Wildie, J.Chapelhow, Hirst, Taylor, Moran. Subs: Aldridge, Josh Johnson, T.Chapelhow, Kopczak (all used). 18th man: Gallagher

HUNSLET: Watson; Scurr, Ferreira, Law, Goddard; Flanagan Jr, Beharrell; Hallas, Whitmore, Fletcher, Jordan-Roberts, Levy, Knowles. Subs: Berry, O’Hanlon, Syme, Coventry (all used). 18th man: Carr