Newly-promoted Rangers held to draw after promising start at Myton

NEWLY-PROMOTED Saddleworth Rangers were left kicking themselves after being held to a 24-24 draw at Myton Warriors in their opening National Conference League, division one match on Saturday (Mar 2).

England U16 squad Fenton Rogers, Ben Killan and Thomas Whitehead

Rangers were winning 24-10 before suffering a collapse in the last 20 minutes to the frustration of coach Wes Rogers.

He said: “Myton have just been relegated from the premier division and we have been promoted, but I genuinely thought we could win the game.

“I was not happy as we could have won and I regard it as one point lost rather than one gained, though we did leave Hull with something.”

Of the late collapse, Rogers continued: “Myton, played with the wind behind them in the second half and put us under pressure with a couple of 40/20 kicks from which they scored.

“We played with a lot of spirit and it was the sort of game we would have lost eight or nine months ago.”

Rangers had earlier defeated Oldham St Annes to book a place in the final of the Standard Cup against Mayfield on Good Friday and beaten Shaw Cross Sharks in a friendly.

Rogers detected a pattern in all three games, explaining: “We started every game badly, had a good spell and then gone back into our shell.

“If we could give put in a 60-minute performance – not even 80 minutes – we would win games by big margins.

“I am probably being harsh, but the players were also disheartened by the draw and thought they ought to have won.”

Rangers have a rearranged league game at Pilkington Recs on Saturday, March 9 and the following week are at home to Dewsbury Moor.

Rogers added: “We are looking for a good month to start the season as last year we had a bad start.

“We are still a bit off game practice and it will probably take two or three games before we hit the straps.”

Rangers have lost prop Simon Parrish who is having to take a break through business commitments, but the vastly experienced Gavin Dodd has returned to training.

• Rangers’ U16 players Fenton Rogers, Ben Killan and Thomas Whitehead have been named in a 68-player England National Performance Squad.

Rogers and Killan are in the academy at Huddersfield Giants and Whitehead at Warrington Wolves.
There are forthcoming tests against France and Wales.

• Rangers have also had three players selected to feature in a trial game for England Community Lionhearts at Halifax on March 23, Adam Jeffries, Ethan Langhorn and Gareth Morgan.

• Rangers’ U18s beat Hull Dockers 20-12 in the second round of the BARLA National Cup to setup a last-eight tie against Pilkington Recs.

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