Rugby Union: Rochdale 57 - 0 Sefton

Date published: 07 January 2019

Rochdale RUFC continued their eleven-match winning run with a ruthless destruction of visitors Sefton at Moorgate Avenue on Saturday.

The Rochdale attack led by a dominant pack and superb linking backs totally overwhelmed a makeshift Sefton side.

The power and pace of wing forward Beltus Nonleh coupled with the great creative skills of Travis Townsend and James Duffy saw Rochdale rip through their opponent’s time after time in the opening twenty minutes.

Rochdale RUFC

First on the score sheet was evergreen winger Jimmy Flitcroft who latched on to a nice pass from Ollie Coldman to power through to score a fine try converted from the touchline by Coldman to make the score 7-0.

Minutes later it was Nonleh again bursting through the Sefton defence and following up was Townsend whose grubber kick did not quite reach Flitcroft but from the scrum Rochdale won the ball and a series of passes found winger Adam Derbyshire who outpaced his opposite number to score in the corner.

With half an hour gone the score increased to 19-0 when the non-stop Beltus Nonleh broke through from 10 metres and scored his first try of the afternoon Coldman adding the extras.

Moments later another good break by scrum half Townsend saw him just run out of room wide on the left wing but the ball was recycled and fell to Ben Coulter. The prop went over for the fourth bonus point try again converted by Coldman to make the score 26-0.

Sefton made a rare attack down the right flank but a great tackle by Ross Hartley stopped them short. With half time looming the shell-shocked Sefton defence failed to hold a great driving maul inside their 22 metre line and Nonleh was there again battering his way through for a second try. With the conversion going just wide the half ended 31-0.

The second half started with Rochdale on the attack determined not to let the pressure off and rack up some extra points. The ball was lost in the tackle and the visitors attempted to pass out of trouble but Blair Henry intercepted and tackled just short of the line. Jack Green, who had come on at half time at full back, gathered the ball to score from short range and Coldman's conversion made it 38-0.

Jack Green try, Rochdale RUFC
Jack Green try, Rochdale RUFC 

Sefton couldn’t get out of the midfield with great tackles from Hartley, Nonleh and Tom Helliwell all contributing to the visitor’s frustration.

Rochdale won the scrum and again Nonleh, supported by Townsend, broke from the back to pass wide to linking full back Green who was forced into touch just short of the line.

Rochdale won a line out on the Sefton 22 metre line and the ball was soon across to the ever eager Henry who ran out of room in the corner. The ball came inside and a good short pass by Duffy saw Dom Macklin burst through the centre to score, but the conversion is was short, making the score 43-0 with ten minutes to go.

Tom Callaghan who had come as sub at half time had done his usual share of tackling but it was in attack he next shone taking the ball off the back of a long line out throw on the visitors 22 metre line. He burst through several tackles and passed short to Coldman who found Duffy coming through at pace and crashing over for a fine try the conversion was good, so 50-0 was the round figure as the final minutes ticked down at the end of a fine performance.

The referee, who had been largely anonymous, was forced to give two yellow cards to Sefton players for a slight altercation at the scrum.

From the penalty Rochdale took a line out and the ball came through several hands finally finding Green backing up from deep to slot over for his second try and a final score of 57-0.

A superb performance from Rochdale, Beltus Nonleh again probably man of the match, but all round in both attack and defence Rochdale were excellent.

Next week it’s the away trip to Winnington Park and a spot of revenge for the early season loss.

The coach leaves at 11.00am from Moorgate Avenue.

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