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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Haven put defeats behind them at Oldham

By Martin Morgan

AS preparation for the massive clash with Super League Warrington on Sunday goes, Oldham might not have been ideal opponents. But try telling that to the 200 Haven fans who enjoyed a fantastic performance from their team at Boundary Park.

With Wolves boss Paul Cullen watching from the stand, Haven put their last two defeats against full-team teams Widnes and Hull KR firmly behind them.

They notched eight tries, hooker Carl Sice collecting three of them, and into the bargain scoring four more points than Leigh had managed against the Roughyeds in their previous game at Hilton Park, two weeks earlier.

Haven have suffered without some of their experienced sidelined forwards over recent weeks, particularly against the big Hull KR pack.

But with Scott Teare, Scott McAvoy and Craig Walsh all impressing off the bench, Haven were never in danger against Oldham.

Yet the first major chance fell to Oldham prop David Best, who was held just one metre short after Craig Calvert fumbled 25 metres from his line.

The Haven winger then saved his team however when pushing Desi Williams to the ground after centre Lee Wingfield attacked down the right.

Best continued to cause problems, and his classy flick pass to Simon Svabic seemed certain to lead to a try until ref Mike Dawber blew up for interference.

To make matters worse for the hosts, Best was hurt in the tackle and had to be stretchered off.

The Haven breakthrough came after fine work from Gary Broadbent and McAvoy, Teare steaming on to Leroy Joe’s expert flat pass to go between the posts.

Carl Rudd, who kicked superbly all afternoon, booted the first of his eight goals.

Teare was tackled high from the re-start, with Haven producing a great set on the back of the resulting penalty, and the outstanding John Duffy kicking through for the nippy Carl Sice to touch down.

Rudd produced a potentially try-saving tackle on winger Andy Gorey as he broke down the middle, and the loose-forward then slotted a penalty as Haven moved in to top gear.

Oldham’s ploy on the re-start of a short kick failed to pay off and David Seeds cut loose.

Later in the set Duffy stepped through and put Walsh in the clear. And when he was caught, Leroy Joe fed Duffy on the short side and he found McAvoy.

The big second-row had plenty of work still to do when he took possession but he bundled his way over for a try.

Haven quickly built pressure after the break, Joe handling twice in one sparkling break before Oldham hoofed dead Steve Maden’s kick.

On the next set Walsh dummied through for a well-deserved try.

Williams, on a season-long loan from Hull KR, finally got his team on to the scoreboard on 49 minutes, the winger benefiting from Calvert’s slip as he tried to clear a kick.

Haven were playing an enterprising brand of rugby, with the Roughyeds struggling to contain them.

And they scored again on the hour, Derry Eilbeck accepting the gift after Williams and Calvert both over-ran the ball as they chased a Haven kick.

Teare’s workload was phenomenal, and it was the Wath Brow Hornet amateur trialist’s offload which sparked his team’s next try, Duffy’s short pass putting Joe in the clear.

Sice followed up with an incredible try. After being late to a scrum while the physio attended to his groin injury, the hooker packed down at loose-forward.

Picking up the ball at the scrum base, he sprinted over 60 metres on an arcing run to the line.

Wingfield put a temporary halt to the one-way traffic after fellow centre Tom Kilgannon had broken from deep, Gareth Barber converting.

But on the next set, Sice completed his hat-trick, as a reward for backing up Rudd’s attack from 40 metres out.

Haven: Broadbent, Calvert, Seeds, R Jackson, Maden, Joe, Duffy, Baynes, Sice, Trindall, Wright, Hill, Rudd. Subs: Eilbeck, McAvoy, Walsh, Teare.

Tries: Teare, Sice 3, McAvoy, Walsh, Eilbeck, Joe.

Goals: Rudd 8.

Oldham: Barber, Williams, Wignfield, Kilgannon, Gorey, Hodgson, Svabic, Hayes, Hough, Best, Bottom, G Corcoran, Baines. Subs: Roberts, Maye, Wallace, W Corcoran.

Tries: Williams, Wingfield.

Goals: Barber 1.

Attendance: 813.

Referee: Mike Dawber (Wigan).

Star Man: Scott Teare.

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