Rochdale RUFC 20 v 7 Glossop RUFC
A weather day that rugby union forwards relish, and it was served up on Saturday. The Glossop side arrived and were the biggest set of forwards seen at Moorgate this season, and they were looking for payback after ‘Dale beat them at their home ground earlier in October. Dale were missing second row Tom Helliwell and Captain Dom Serridge. Andrew Foster came into the pack alongside Needham and the halfback pairing of Duffy and Townsend was restored after Duffy’s illness last time out.
Last weeks defeat was still in the Rochdale players minds and this was a tough game to reinstall their confidence. For the first 20 minutes Dale rarely had any ball possession and they had to defend the early onslaught with everything they had. On the occasion of having the ball some poor decisions limited their plan. Injuries to Jonny Bradley and Mitchel van Zyl had Jack Green and Josh Grundy on before Dale really wanted to use them. Glossop were first on the board, they were clearly trying to bully the home side and they drove a rolling maul over for a converted try. 0-7. This lead to another period under the cosh. The home forwards defended magnificently and they all put in a full shift.
The ever dependable Ollie Coldman lost no time in attacking the visitors line and he scored out wide 5 mins before halftime but then failed to convert. H.T. 5-7. Many spectators had little hope for a Dale victory at H.T. More of the same was on the cards for Dale, gutsy defending and trying not to take a backwards step. Another problem was that at set pieces Dale were being wasteful, and the ball was given up to frequently to form any sort of attack.
The Glossop forwards had given their all in trying to get another score and this told on their stamina. Rochdale commenced to restore parity with possession and area, after a good clearance from Duffy, Dom Macklin made an excellent run and was ably supported by Blair Henry and after some inter-passing Macklin scored out wide on the left, this was unconverted but Dale now had the lead 10-7. Dale kept up the pressure. Alex Isherwood, on as replacement together with Hartley and Nonleh won a turnover ball in mid-field, the ball went quickly through several pairs of hands and found its way over the right wing where with Jack Green, Dom Macklin turned up again and scored his second and Dale’s third try out wide on the right. Again unconverted, 15-7.
Discipline, or the lack of it, now came into the game. The Glossop forwards now tiring by the minute, continued to persistently come to the attention of the referee and a Glossop forward was sent to the bin. This was a fillip for Dale. Alex Isherwood who had made his mark on the game grappled with three Glossop defenders as he took them over the line with him to score Dale’s bonus point try and well deserved it was.
The day’s effort had taken it’s toll on Coldman who missed the conversion had a poor day with the boot but as usual his efforts were non less than every player who gave their all to gain a very hard fought victory. 20-7.
Glossop were all spent trying to overcome Rochdale but the home side tackled and worked throughout. Man of the Match was Tom Callaghan who marshalled the forwards and tackled anything that moved, a superb effort.
The win keeps Dale “In the hunt” near the top of the table but their position is that they cannot afford to give away any points in their pursuit of promotion. Victory such as today shows a great team spirit as each player works for each other. Next Saturday away at Liverpool Collegiate bus leaves at 11.00am.
Steve Helliwell RRUFC.