Rugby Union: Rochdale RUFC 7 - 28 Stockport RUFC
Date published: 12 March 2018
Tom Helliwell taking lineout ball - Rochdale Rugby Union FC
Though poor conditions, with driving rain and a cross wind, favoured Rochdale in the first half, Stockport's second half performance gave them the win.
Stockport scored first, capitalising on a mistake to get into the Rochdale 22 and create a good try from an overlap finished well by the centre Turner. The try was converted.
Rochdale were soon back on the attack with Jim Flitcroft, Dom Serridge and Rob Wadsworth all making good breaks but stopped short.
Stockport tried to use their big pack to dominate, but were matched by Rochdale.
Kicking and counter kicking spoiled the flow of the game, which was increasingly dominated by the weather.
Rochdale used their speed in the backs against a solid defence by the visitors.
As the half hour mark approached Rochdale followed up a deep free kick from James Duffy and brought play to the fivemetre line with a rolling maul, which was brought down on the line the referee awarded a penalty try to Rochdale.
With half time looming Rochdale looked the more likely team to score as Jimmy Flitcroft was held up inches from the line after a 12 phase move.
Half time: Rochdale RUFC 7 - 7 Stockport RUFC
Early in the second half, Gui Desousa was yellow carded by the referee for repeated offside and Rochdale were to miss his presence for the next 10 minutes.
Stockport pressed forward, winning most lineouts and quick ball from former international Dean Schofield saw them in the Rochdale 22 and awarded a penalty on 10 metres. They took advantagewith a hard drive for the line and the second row crashed over for a converted try.
Rochdale were back on the offensive with Tom Helliwell and Chris Hodgkinson making good ground from line outs and scrums, but the pressure was not taking them beyond the midfield.
Rochdale had a great chance when Flitcroft pounced on a dropped pass and kicked through to the Stockport line but just lost the foot race to touch down.
With Rochdale pressing hard, the passes got longer and more risky and the Stockport scrum half, Rory Austin, intercepted a pass on the Rochdale 22 and sped through the stranded Rochdale defence to score a converted try.
A high clearance by Stockport was taken by Duffy, the ball running loose behind him only to be penalised for a knock on. From the resultant scrum the visitors completed a well worked push over try which was well converted by McGovern to leave the final score a very flattering 7-28 to Stockport.