Rugby Union: Warrington RFC 29 - 19 Rochdale RUFC

Date published: 26 February 2018

On a bright sunny afternoon at Warrington, Rochdale failed to collect points from a side which had lost four games in a row prior to a win in the last minute at Waterloo last week.

Rochdale started well and soon tested the Warrington defence with Ollie Coldman launching a massive kick to the home 22, and with Warrington conceding a penalty the play was set well by a good catch in the line by Tom Helliwell. The ball came inside to Dom Serridge who forced his way over for the opening score, converted by James Duffy.

Both sides pushed for more points and with very lively backs Warrington were always a danger.

Good tackling by Rob Ward, captain Tom Callaghan and Chris Hodgkinson saw Warrington frustrated until the 20th minute when having conceded a penalty on their 22 metre line Rochdale failed to stop the Warrington second row, Josh Downes, who passed wide and with a two man overlap the try was a formality. The kick was missed.

A faulty line out throw by Warrington led to a Rochdale scrum on half way. Hodgkinson peeled off the back and passed to Travis Townsend who skipped past two tackles and then delivered a neat inside pass to James Duffy. The fly half made no mistake going in near the posts. The conversion sailed over.

Half time: Warrington RFC 5 - 14 Rochdale RUFC

The second half started with Rochdale pressing for a third try and when Warrington were penalised for offside 35 metres out Duffy elected to kick. He struck the ball well and it seemed that he had scored and though one linesman flagged the score, the other linesman disagreed and the referee sided with him.

Warrington made several good breaks from midfield and finally got a try with the centre Caldwell scoring. The kick went over. 

From the kick-off Warrington got a scrum as the ball had not gone 10 metres, and they put together a good move and despite tackles from Flitcroft and Coldman in midfield, created an overlap to score a third try. Easily converted.

With Rochdale back on the attack through Gui Desousa and Travis Townsend the ball was eventually fed to Flitcroft who battered his way through desperate defence and crashed over, but the referee called held up no try.

Warrington added points with a penalty.

Things went from bad to worse for Rochdale when hooker Rob Ward, who had played well in defence and line out throws, had to leave the field with a serious shoulder injury.

John Mair, who had played well on his return to the first team, was substituted for James Willets fresh legs in the attack for Rochdale but press as they did, they could penetrate the Warrington defence.

Townsend and Serridge had good breaks and Flitcroft was always a threat.

Warrinton won a Rochdale line out on the visitors 22 and put together a good move that split the Rochdale defence and saw the centre Pilkington score a converted try.

Rochdale never gave up and they were back on the offensive pushing the Warrington full back into a rash attempt at a clearance kick in his own five metre area, which was charged down by James Duffy who went through to score. The conversion was missed.

In the last few minutes Warrington were given another kickable penalty 30 metres out but this went well wide.

Next Saturday Rochdale travel to St Benedict’s in Whithaven.

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