Rugby Union: Altrincham Kersal 0 - 20 Rochdale RUFC

Date published: 10 October 2017

On a wet and windy day at Stelfox Road, Rochdale Rugby Union Club got their first win of the season in style, and without conceding any points.

Rochdale pinned Altrincham back in their own half from the start and good breaks from Redfern, Schofield and Gui de Sousa tested the home defence, but dropped passes ended several attempts at the line.

The referee yellow carded Redfern  and Rochdale were down to 14 men, but despite putting them on the back foot they defended well.

The deadlock was broken when, after sustained pressure, de Sousa battered his way over the line. Coldman converted.

Altrincham had plenty of ball, winning line outs, and passed the ball well at times.

Rochdale were stretched but defended well and when the ball broke to Flitcroft on the wing, a good passing movement between Matt Buckley and Josh Schofield saw him break through to the line but was judged to have been held up. No try.

With half time approaching Rochdale's second try came from the unlikely source of prop forward Dale Slamen, who supported by captain Tom Callaghan crushed the Altrincham defence to score a push over try. The conversion went wide.

Half time was looming and with Rochdale restored to 15 men they ended the half with winger Buckley on a run that was stopped short of the Altrincham line.

Half Time: Altrincham 0 - 12 Rochdale

The second half started in driving rain and both sides lost the ball repeatedly in the terrible conditions.

Solid Rochdale defence frustrated Altrincham who were unable to break the visitors line despite a good share of the ball.

The menace of Josh Schofield was never far away and supported by James Duffy and Dom Serridge they tested the Altrincham defence. A good break into the 22 saw Schofield beat two players and slip the ball inside to Coldman, who was held down in the tackle and penalised for not releasing.

Coldman had the next score to his name as Altrincham were penalised 30 metres out in front of the posts. Coldman went for the points and was rewarded with a kick that, despite the poor conditions, floated over.

As Rochdalepressed, the Altrincham defence became ever more desperate and the referee had no choice but to yellow card the Altrincham number eight for a high tackle on Schofield.

Rochdaleale continued to run the ball wherever possible and although Altrincham tried to get back in the game they could not find a way through.

Lots of mistakes and penalties littered the last quarter, but a break down the centre by Schofield, supported by Coldman, led to the fullback getting a final pass to score wide on the left. The conversion attempt failed.

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