Attitude of players was wrong says joint coach after Rangers lose derby clash

JOINT coach Sean Whitehead criticised the attitude of Saddleworth Rangers’ players as they were beaten 26-22 at home by Waterhead Warriors.

“They wanted it 10 times more than we did,” explained Whitehead whose side won a feisty match at Warriors earlier in the season.

“If you don’t have the right attitude in any game, and particularly a derby, you are going to get beaten.

“We were very poor and there are no excuses, yet we could still have won.”

Rangers had been looking for a second derby win of the month following an impressive 26-12 victory against Oldham St Annes in which there were tries for Matt Whitehead, Charlie McManus, Sam Hart, Josh Brown and Danny Bowker.

In the past month Rangers, who ordinarily would play in division two of the National Conference League, have also lost heavily to premier division sides Thatto Heath and Rochdale Mayfield.

Whitehead said: “It is a tough league playing teams from the premier division. Thatto Heath are more like a semi-pro team, but we did okay against them.

“It was great experience for our players, especially the young ones, to take on premier division opposition and it shows where they need to be to compete at that level.”

Apart from the defeat against Warriors, Whitehead has been pleased with the progress Rangers are making.

In the past month Josh Brown has continued to have an impact on his return as have Sam Eyres and Chris Yarwood who are also back at the club.

Half back Josh Fitzgerald has moved from Waterhead, originally playing in the Under-18s but quickly moving up to first team while winger Chris Evis has been handed a first-team debut.

• Three former Rangers’ juniors were in the starting line-up for Lancashire academy who lost 40-10 against Yorkshire.

Fenton Rogers was prop, Tom Whitehead loose forward with Zach Eckersley on the wing.

They lost 40-10 despite a Whitehead try and Eckersley goal.

• The second team’s 34-18 win at Almondbury was especially memorable for the Haigh family.

Lars and his son Lewis played together for the first time. Also in the side was Lewis’ uncle Ash Wildman.

• Former Rangers’ player Nathan Roebuck has been loaned by Warrington Wolves to Super League rivals Salford while Huddersfield Giants have loaned Fenton Rogers to Oldham RL for an initial month.

• A celebration of the life of late chairman Shane ‘Jocky’ Wilson, whose lost a long battle against cancer on New Year’s Eve, takes place at Rangers on Sunday, August 29.

Due to Covid restrictions, family and friends were unable to properly come together to raise a glass to him so that is going to happen that day – time to be confirmed.

• Most tables have been sold for the sportsman’s dinner on September 18 with Iestyn Harris the guest speaker.

Meanwhile, former player Mark Flanagan has his final testimonial event on Thursday, October 28 with three of the most fearsome forwards of recent years on the line up, Sam Burgess, Jamie Peacock and Adrian Morley.

And the following day, Friday, October 29, is the new date for the club’s 91st anniversary dinner at the White Hart, Lydgate.

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