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Rochdale RUFC 19 v 46 Warrington RFC

Sorry, no photo’s, still away on holiday!

On a sunny afternoon at Moorgate Avenue Dale started their last home fixture of the year against Warrington, the away fixture once postponed due to snow was a tight affair with the home side coming out on top after trailing 14-5 at half time.

Warrington have been having a good run and are always dangerous in the backs and Dale had to produce some top class cover defence to keep out an attack in the first minute.

A clearance kick by Ollie Coldman reached the 22 but a good line out from the visitors led to the winger going over in the corner the conversion was missed but with only 10 minutes gone it promised to be a long afternoon for the home side.7-0. Despite good kicking from Coldman and James Duffy. Warrington had a lot of possession and always looked likely to score with slick passing and fast centres creating headaches for Dale’s defence and so it was after 18 mins that they again got wide and their winger Tom Arnold beat Travis Townsend the Dale full back to score a 2nd try again unconverted 10-0. Dale responded with a good break from Dom Serridge and, a powerful run from Jimmy Flitcroft stopped just short, but Captain Tom Callaghan was on hand to power through for a rare try under the posts easily converted by Coldman 7-10 after 25 mins. Dale now had plenty of possession but could not quite penetrate the Warrington defence the visitors had a line out on half way and produced a good passing move which stretched the Dale defence allowing centre Max Caldwell to score under the posts with the conversion the score became 7-17 after 30 mins. Only brave tackles from the Dale defence and some poor finishing from Warrington stopped the score climbing. In desperation the visitors tried some long passes one of which was just too near Flitcroft who intercepted and raced 30 yds to the try line to score a fine try under the posts Coldman added the extras and approaching half time the score was a respectable 14-17.

Minutes later Dale had another great chance after winning a scrum on half way, Duffy chipped over the defenders and Serridge just failed to get to the ball first. Chris Hodgkinson was next to try his luck with a good break from the back of the scrum 10 meters from the Warrington line he was just held up short. The ref blew the whistle on what had been a pulsating 1st half. 14-17.

The second half started badly for Dale with two injuries in the space of a few minutes Hartley came on and was soon in the thick of it looking impressive with the ball and tackling well in defence. Good defence in their own 5 metre area and last ditch tackles kept the visitors out until the 65th minute when a lost Dale line out saw the ball come right across the field to allow Warrington’s winger Kieron Hughes come in to score their 3rd try which was converted 14-24.

The kick off went straight to the Warrington forwards who passed well and brought in Hughes for an identical try on 69 mins unconverted 14-29. Dale as usual kept pressing and gallant attempts by Gui Sousa and Tom Helliwell were held up short and ball lost. The next period of possession saw Serridge feed Flitcroft and a wide high pass was taken right on the line by Blair ‘Bomber’ Henry to crash over almost on the corner flag, the kick from Coldman went just wide 19-29.

The next 10 minutes saw Dale collapse in some style as the Warrington attack punished any mistake with two tries and a conversion taking the score to 19-41 with minutes to go.

Dale were now showing signs that the warm day had got to them and the visitors got a final try right in the corner almost on the stoke of full time 19-46 being the final score.

A great game of rugby good effort from both sides Warrington were too strong for Dale who were plucky in defeat. Next week’s last game is away at Northwich.

Dave Rhodes R.R.U.F.C.