Midlands Hurricanes 28 - 38 Rochdale Hornets

Date published: 19 March 2024

Rochdale Hornets travelled to Birmingham on Sunday 17 March to play Midlands Hurricanes in their first league game of the season.

Hornets started the game the better team, after a high tackle and a territorial kick from Ridyard saw Hornets just outside the Midlands 20 metre line. The resulting play put Tommy Brierley over in the corner after just 4 minutes. Ridyard’s kick struck the post leaving the score at 0-4.

Midlands had a good go at returning a score, but some amazing defence from Dan Nixon bundled the man into touch, again giving the Hornets good positioning to attack.

After the resulting traded sets, the Midlands defence kept the Hornets inside their own half before kicking. Midlands made an error on the first tackle leaving Hornets chance to attack.

In the 14th minute, Gregg McNally threw a huge dummy around the Midlands 10 metre line and dove over, Ridayrd’s boot was better this time putting Rochdale 10 points up.

Just minutes after, some very nice link up play from experienced players McNally and Ridyard came good, with Ridyard grubber kicking through the Midlands defence for McNally to dive onto.

A rare mistake in the game from Rochdale saw Midlands go over courtesy of Bass, but the kick went wide. 4-16.

Midlands went back to back, the best they played all game in this period sparking a fightback. With Barcoe dummying through the defence, and the kick coming good from BIllsborough 10-16.

Hornets' response was to go over again in good fashion, the run from Ridyard broke the line, with him passing out to Forster who worked the ball back over to Openshaw who scored his first try of the afternoon on his debut. Ridyard converted. 10-22.

Midlands got over, but it was disallowed for being in touch. However, Nakoronivalu dove over on the other side, keeping the score close again at 16-22 going into half time after Hewitt's kick was good

Midlands started well, putting a dangerous kick towards McNally but he took it well, Brierley ran the ball well but went down injured, he was okay and carried on putting dangerous runs in.

The Hornets defence kept Midlands in their own half before they kicked, Nixon ran the ball in but was taken out high.

This set up Brennan for some good strong running, working the ball over to Openshaw and Harrop who just couldn’t quite get over.


Midlands Hurricanes v Rochdale Hornets
© JMSportPix


Nixon got over, but was pulled back for offside, the resulting attack from Midlands was dangerous but Dan Nixon put a great tackle in tumbling the man into touch once again.

Midlands struck first, going over in the 52nd minute, Bass was bundled into touch but his pass was good allowing Wilkinson to go over in the corner. Billsborough’s kick was good levelling the score at 22-22.

Hornets attacked well and defended well for the next 10 minutes before the captain, Duane Straugheir powered his way through under the sticks. Ridyard added the extras giving Hornets a 6 point lead.

Midlands got sloppier, making errors allowing the Hornets to put pressure on. Openshaw ducked and dived his way through for a second debut try, he punched the ball away in celebration. Rudd took over the kicking making no mistake 22-34.

Rochdale then attempted a drop goal, which went wide. But the attacking threat after saw Joe Hartley coasted over the right edge to score, Rudd this time however did not add the extras.

Wilkinson crashed over for his second and Billsborough converted, but it was too little to late as Rochdale slowed the game down, defending well.

A great performance from Rochdale but a proper game of rugby league was played, with both teams having periods where they were the better team.

Rochdale came off the better of the two, winning the game 38-28.

Report by Daniel Church


Midlands Hurricanes v Rochdale Hornets
© JMSportPix


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