Rugby Union: Rochdale RUFC 5 - 24 Wilmslow RUFC
Date published: 19 February 2018
Dom Serridge, Rochdale RUFC
Good conditions, a victory from the previous week and a home game, all boded well for Rochdale, and in the first 25 minutes they could have been out of sight, but Wilmslow made the most of their opportunties and won comfortably despite being put under intense presssure in the last ten minutes.
Rochdale went on to spurn chance after chance early in the game as Wilmslow started very slowly. There was a dropped ball, a poor last pass and a ball knocked forward. Rochdale had not brought their finishing skills to the match.
After 30 minutes Dom Macklin suffered a concussion injury and was replaced by veteran Jon Mair.
Wilmslow had survived the early exchanges and were looking to get into the Rochdale 22.
A Rochdale attack was thwarted on the Wilmslow five metre line and the speedy Wilmslow left wing ran the full length of the pitch to score under the posts.
James Duffy had two penalty chances but missed with both.
Wilmslow crept ever closer to the Rochdale line and a score looked on the cards.
A secure Wilmslow lineout had them go through the phases with pick and go moves. Just short of the Rochdale try line they were held up and offered a scrum. Wilmslow managed to turn that into a huge melee and they were awarded a pushover try, duly converted.
Half time: Rochdale 0 - 14 Wilmslow
Rochdale had a mountain to climb in the second half. Wilmslow confidence had returned and they looked the better side.
Mike Candler was replaced at half time by Tom Helliwell to boost the forward line.
In the first half Rochdale had very little lineout ball but with Hodgkinson and Helliwell in the lineout more ball became available.
The ball came loose from a ruck and Helliwell collected, he surged five metres and offloaded to James Duffy and onward to Bomber Henry who was taken into touch just short of the line.
Another promising Rochdale move produced good passing and support play but again broke down with poor handling.
Wilmslow kept up the pressure, and a good cross field move had Wilmslow over the line again this time out wide on the right. The conversion was missed.
Rochdale came strong again with better set pieces, but poor tackling let the visitors in again for a bonus point try.The kick went wide and the visitor's scoring for the day was over.
The Rochdale team never gave up and they pressured the Wilmslow line continuously.
The Rochdale forwards battered the visitors for the final 10 minutes and the pressure did bring a Rochdale score. A fine move from the Wilmslow 22 with inter-passing between Bomber Henry and James Duffy had Henry going over the whitewash. Duffy’s conversion attempt missed.
Rochdale travel to Warrington next for the first of two consecutive away games.