After last week’s disappointment at Manchester, Dale welcomed newly promoted Carlisle to Moorgate Avenue on a wet afternoon and with key players still missing due to injury, coach Mick Gould had to ring the changes but welcomed back 2nd row Gui de Sousa to strengthen the pack and Adam Derbyshire on the wing.
In the opening minutes a good break by Josh Schofield and James Willetts was stopped just short of the Carlisle line forcing the visitors into conceding a penalty in front of the posts that Ollie Coldman took with ease 3-0.
Carlisle looked dangerous going forward but too much kicking deep cost them the ball and it wasn’t until the 10th minute that they strung a good passing move together to score in the left corner the conversion was missed 3-5.
Dale were soon back on the attack, keeping the ball in hand seemed a problem for both sides but Ollie Coldman managed to break through the visitor’s defence supported by James Duffy and Schofield and again they were penalised for off side on their own 22 metre line Ollie took the kick well and Dale were back in the lead 6-5.
.Despite good defence in the centre of the field both sides looked like scoring when the ball went wide, it was Carlisle who after 25 mins. moved the ball wide and their centre Dan Holmes just sneaked over the line, the conversion followed 6- 12 .
As the rain swept in both sides used the boot to clear their defences with mixed success. Duffy’s clearance to half way was taken by in by the visitors and following a good drive they were well in the Dale half when they got a penalty that brought the play into the 22 from the line out the ball fizzed across to the winger who raced in to score, the conversion made it 6-19 at half time.
A scrappy start to the 2nd half with lost line outs by Dale and continued kicking from Carlisle much to the annoyance of their travelling support, despite some great tackling from Gui de Sousa and Harry Hill the visitors did strike from close range, after winning a scrum on the Dale 5 metre line the ball was shipped out wide for the winger to score in the corner. The resulting kick was missed 24-6. Minutes later it was a rampant Carlisle that ran in their 5th try of the day leaving the score 29-6. Dale now decided to get back in the match and were led by Ollie Coldman, James Duffy and the rampaging Gui de Sousa they battered the visitors defence and it was Coldman who finally squeezed over for a well deserved try.
The conversion left it at 29-13 with less than 5 mins. to go. Next up was the every ready Josh Schofield with a mazy run from the 22 carving open the Carlisle defence and out pacing the winger to score a great solo try converted with ease by Coldman but 29-20 proved to be the final score.
Another disappointing day at the office but signs of hope with players returning and exciting prospects such as James Willetts and Gui de Sousa on the scene. Next week’s trip to Altrincham will be a good test and a hopefully winnable game for Dale.
Dave Rhodes R.R.U.F.C.