Rugby Union: Rochdale U14s progress to semi final - Heaton Moor U14s 7 - 14 Rochdale U14s
Date published: 08 March 2019
Photo: Bruce Myers
Rochdale RUFC U14s v Heaton Moor U14s
Rochdale RUFC were allocated an away fixture against League One opposition, Heaton Moor, for the quarter fnal of the Lancashire Plate.
Two things are guaranteed when you visit Heaton Moor; one it will be raining and two you’ll be on the wrong side of the penalty count.
It was raining at kick off.
Both sides were trying to play an open game not suited to the weather and this resulted in quite a few handling errors; after 20 minutes there was still no score.
Rochdale's press defence was causing Heaton Moor lots of problems and most of the play was between the two 22 metre lines.
It was more of a forwards' game, unlike last week’s try-fest.
Garrett Myers carried strongly, supported by Kai Potter and Joel Rigby with James O’Connell, Nick Wright, moving from full back to number eight, Ben Sunderland, Paddy Kershaw and Charlie Bleackley all snuffing out Heaton Moor's pick and drive game.
Eventually, after absorbing some of Heaton Moor’s pressure, Rochdale were able to clear the ball up the field.
Bleackley followed up tackling the fullback and, after a kick ahead, the Rochdale forwards' secured possession.
Myers picked up the ball and ran through the retreating defence to score on the stroke of half time.
The extras were added by Mitchell Holt and Rochdale turned around 7-0 to the good.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with most of the game played in the middle of the field.
Mitchell Holt, Will Simmons and James Tasker were closing the space in the defensive line and tackling everything that moved.
On the edges Ben Kershaw, Zac Baker and Ollie Simpson were marshalling attackers towards the touchlines.
Rochdale built through the phases and Matt Pendlebury almost scored in the corner.
Play was returned due to a previous infringement and a quick tap by Mitchell Holt saw him step through the defence to score and convert his try.
Rochdale were fairly comfortable now and, with the clock running down, the victory was assured.
Even with the now torrential rain, Rochdale's defence was watertight.
A late flurry of penalties allowed Heaton Moor a consolation try with the last play of the game.
Overall a really solid performance.
Matty Dearden and Bendan Hankinson worked tirelessly all game but Man of the Match went to Will Simmons for a tremendous defensive effort.
Next another away game for the semi-final, drawn against Liverpool Collegiate, another League One team.
With the same levels of team work, hopefully another win will see our first opportunity for major silverware.
Garrett Myers, Kai Potter, James O’Connell, Paddy Kershaw, Joel Rigby, Charlie Bleackley, Nick Wright, Ben Sunderland, Matt Dearden, Mitchell Holt, Zak Baker, Ben Kershaw, Will Simmons, James Tasker, Ollie Simpson, Matthew Pendlebury, Bendan Hankinson
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