Warrington RFC 29 v 19 Rochdale RUFC
On a bright sunny afternoon at Warrington, Dale were looking to collect some points from a side who had lost four games on the bounce prior to last week’s win in the last minute at Waterloo. Dale started well and soon tested the Warrington defence with Ollie Coldman launching a massive kick to the home 22 and with Warrington conceding a penalty the play was set well by a good catch in the line by Tom Helliwell the ball came inside to Dom Serridge who forced his way over for the opening score converted by James Duffy 0-7.
Both sides pushed for more points and with very lively backs Warrington were always a danger, good tackling by Rob Ward, captain Tom Callaghan and Chris Hodgkinson saw the home side frustrated until the 20th minute when having conceded a penalty on their 22 metre line Dale failed to stop the big 2nd row Josh Downes who passed wide and with a two man overlap the try was a formality the kick was missed so 5-7.
With the ball going end to end it was a faulty line out throw by Warrington that led to a Dale scrum on half way, Hodgkinson peeled off the back and passed to Travis Townsend who skipped past two tackles and then delivered a neat inside pass to James Duffy and the fly half made no mistake going in near the posts the conversion left the half time score at 5-14 to Dale, who had been the best side.
The second half started well with Dale pressing for a third try and when Warrington were penalized for offside 35 metres out Duffy elected to kick he struck the ball well and it seemed even looking into bright sunshine that he had scored one linesman flagged the score but the home linesman disagreed and the ref sided with him.
This seemed to spark the home side into action and they made several good breaks from midfield and finally got the try with the centre Caldwell scoring with this conversion the score was 12-14 after 55 mins. From the kick off Warrington got a scrum as the ball had not gone 10 metres, and they put together a good move despite great tackles from Flitcroft and Coldman in midfield, Warrington created a good overlap and a third try went in easily converted 19-14 on 60 mins.
Next more controversy, with Dale back on the attack through Gui Desousa and Travis Townsend the ball was eventually fed to Flitcroft who battered his way through the desperate defence and seemed to crash over for a fine try, the referee had different ideas and called held up no try. Warrington added points with a penalty 22-14. Things went from bad to worse for Dale when hooker Rob Ward who had played well in defence and line out throws had to leave the field with a serious shoulder injury. John Mair who had played well on his return to the 1st team was substituted for James Willets fresh legs in the attack for Dale but press as they might, Dale could not quite penetrate the Warrington defence. Both Townsend and Serridge had good breaks and Flitcroft was always a threat. The home side won a Dale line out on the visitors 22 and put together a good move that split the Dale defence and saw the centre Pilkington score a converted try to make it 29-14 with only 5 mins left.
Dale never gave up and they were back on the offensive pushing the Warrington full back into a rash attempt at a clearance kick in his own 5 metre area, charged down by James Duffy who went through to score. The conversion was missed 19-29. In the last few minutes Warrington were given another kickable penalty 30 metres out but this went well wide. Final score 29-19 to Warrington and Dale left ruing the disallowed penalty and try which could have altered the final outcome. Next Saturday we travel to St Benedicts in Whithaven so its and early 9.30 coach for this 3pm kick off.
David Rhodes R.R.U.F.C.