Rugby Union: Rochdale RUFC 20 - 7 Glossop RUFC

Date published: 21 January 2019

A day with weather that rugby union forwards relish was served up on Saturday (19 January) as Rochdale beat visitors Glossop 20 - 7.

The Glossop side arrived and were the biggest set of forwards seen at Moorgate this season, and they were looking for payback after Rochdale beat them at their home ground earlier in October.

Rochdale were missing second row Tom Helliwell and captain Dom Serridge. Andrew Foster came into the pack alongside Needham and the halfback pairing of Duffy and Townsend was restored after Duffy’s illness last time out.

Last week’s defeat was still in the Rochdale players’ minds and this was a tough game to reinstate their confidence.

For the first 20 minutes, Rochdale rarely had any ball possession and they had to defend the early onslaught with everything they had.

On the occasion of having the ball some poor decisions limited their plan. Injuries to Jonny Bradley and Mitchel van Zyl had Jack Green and Josh Grundy on before Rochdale really wanted to use them. Glossop were first to put points on the board, they were clearly trying to bully the home side and they drove a rolling maul over for a converted try: 0-7.

This led to another period under the cosh for Rochdale. The home forwards defended magnificently, and they all put in a full shift.

The ever-dependable Ollie Coldman lost no time in attacking the visitors’ line and he scored out wide five minutes before half-time but then failed to convert: 5-7.

Many spectators had little hope for a Rochdale victory at half-time. More of the same was on the cards for Rochdale, gutsy defending and trying not to take a backwards step.

Another problem was that at set pieces Rochdale were being wasteful, and the ball was given away too frequently to form any sort of attack.

The Glossop forwards had given their all in trying to get another score and this told on their stamina. Rochdale began to restore parity with possession and area: after a good clearance from Duffy, Dom Macklin made an excellent run, ably supported by Blair Henry and after some inter-passing, Macklin scored out wide on the left. This was unconverted, but Rochdale now had the lead 10-7.

Rochdale kept up the pressure. Alex Isherwood, on as a replacement together with Hartley and Nonleh, won a turnover ball in mid-field. The ball went quickly through several pairs of hands and found its way over the right wing where Dom Macklin turned up again with Jack Green, and scored his second try and Rochdale’s third out wide on the right. Again unconverted, 15-7.

Discipline, or the lack of it, now came into the game. The Glossop forwards – now tiring by the minute – continued to persistently come to the attention of the referee and a Glossop forward was sent to the bin – a boost for Rochdale.

Alex Isherwood, who had made his mark on the game, grappled with three Glossop defenders as he took them over the line with him to score Rochdale’s well-deserved bonus point try.

The day’s effort had taken its toll on Coldman, who missed the conversion. As usual, his efforts were not less than every player who gave their all to gain a very hard fought victory. 20-7.

Glossop were all spent trying to overcome Rochdale, but the home side tackled and worked throughout. Man of the Match was Tom Callaghan, who marshalled the forwards and tackled anything that moved, a superb effort.

The win keeps Rochdale near the top of the table but their position means that they cannot afford to give away any points in their pursuit of promotion. Victory such as today shows a great team spirit as each player works for each other.

Next Saturday Rochdale are away at Liverpool Collegiate. The bus leaves Moorgate Avenue at 11.00am.

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