Dale Meet Their Waterloo
FIRWOOD WATERLOO 54 v ROCHDALE RUFC 24
On a fine afternoon in Crosby Dale took on 3rd place Firwood Waterloo in what proved to be an open and entertaining game with both sides producing some top class rugby.The game followed a familiar pattern for Dale as they conceded early, shocked by the fast passing Waterloo backs and soon were 7-0 down. Five minutes later after some promising attacks Dale lost the ball on the home sides 22 and saw a sweeping move take Waterloo the full length of the pitch for the winger to score in the corner having outpaced his cover 14-0 this promised to be a long day.
It was a day for heroes and Josh Schofield saved an almost certain try as he took down the Waterloo flanker as he broke through with the line beckoning. Minutes later Dale were awarded a penalty in front of the posts and Ollie Coldman slotted the ball over to get Dale on the score sheet at 14-3.
After 25 mins. the relentless Waterloo attack battered another hole in Dale’s defence and the centre crashed over for a 3rd try 21-3.
The visitors kept knocking on the door and with the pack pressing the line they were awarded a penalty try 21-10.
This inspired Dale and after a break in play for a head injury to the Waterloo scrum half, they had a great chance when Jimmy Flitcroft made a break down the wing only to be caught by the last defender yards short of the corner. The game was end to end as half time approached but it was the home side who collected their 4th try when the full back appeared through a huge gap in the Dale defence to score 28-10. At half time.
The 2nd half started in the worse possible way for Dale as the Waterloo pack with two fresh players brought in crashed to the line to be held up twice by gallant Dale defence only to see the giant No. 17 find a gap and score under the posts 35-10. This match was not as one sided as the score line was suggesting with pack leaders Ward and Desousa both making spirited attacks and backs Travis Townsend and Josh Schofield always probing at the Waterloo defence, high kicks from Coldman and later Duffy got Dale moving but again it was the strong Waterloo pack that broke down the visitors defence for a once unconverted try on 55 mins 40-10.
Most sides would have folded under this amount of pressure but Dale came back with a hack through from a loose ball on half way and chases down the ball only to be tackled into touch on the 22. Waterloo started to give away penalties the referee punishing them for slowing down play and offside, one such penalty in front of the posts was popped into touch and the Dale line out which had been good all afternoon collected the ball cleanly and in a tight passing move Schofield went over to make it 40-17. Dale were’nt finished yet and after seeing the normally clinical Waterloo backs drop a pass on the line they responded with a typical Schofield break down the middle and with support from the pack the ball ended up wide on the right and super inside pass to Flitcroft saw the big winger power over for Dale’s third try 40-24.
Just as things were picking up Dale tried an ambitious cross field move in their own 22 a high pass was intercepted by the Waterloo centre who scored under the posts 47-24.
The last attack of the game came after Desousa was penalized on the Dale 22 and from the resulting line out Waterloo secured good ball and pass across the line to leave an easy conversion and a final score of 54-24.
A game performance by Dale but too many mistakes against a strong Waterloo side who look determined to get a play off place. Next Saturday Dale welcome league leaders Vale of Lune for a 2.15 kick off at Moorgate Avenue.