With fixtures away at Manchester Rugby Club kicking off at 10:45 and then Heaton Moor starting at 12:30, we split the teams and despatched the squad to their respective destinations. Perfect weather for rugby all round .. our match reporters Nick Foster & Chris Beavan.
Manchester vs Rochdale
Great Team Win in South Manchester
The boys started smartly with good early possession and excellent passing down the line using the full width of the pitch to stretch the opposition. A try against the run of play put the opposition ahead but this only served to galvanise Rochdale who scored three tries in the first quarter capitalising on opposition errors and smart rucking, with great communication across the pitch.
Alex O after putting in a vocal shift left the field much like Phil Collins at Live Aid to be available for the other game at Heaton Moor! There was strong running from deep from Damian with great offloads from rucks and scrums all morning. It was impressive how quickly Rochdale put Manchester under pressure every time they got the ball with strong tackling from the likes of Freddie, Drew, Isaac & Bailey.
In the second quarter there was smart work from Bailey & Louie with the latter using his pace all afternoon and never shying away from tackling the big lads in the opposition. Finn, Jake and James were a constant threat and were rewarded with great contributions and individual tries. Ben F received his customary injury but in the process made a try.
Rochdale looked to be running away with it but like Fernandez coming back at Raducanu they closed the gap to 20-30 by the end of the second quarter. Rochdale thereafter never looked like losing and other than a later try by Manchester, Rochdale were able to dominate the final half of the match keeping their discipline and eventually closing out the game comfortable winners at 30-65.
Notable stand out performances from newer members of the team, Daniel and Logan, the latter getting MoM for his support work and multiple well deserved tries.
There wasn’t a poor performance on the pitch and they were a credit to RUFC, particularly post-match with Isaac in tailored shorts, white shirt and club tie – sports casual!
You’ve set the standard now and we go into the season with a mixture of confidence and high expectations.
Heaton Moor vs Rochdale
Heaton Moor looked impressive in the warm up and both sides fielded the full 13 a side.
Cameron had an early strong run, and was unlucky not to score the opening try due to some confusion with the exact location of the touch line. Followed up with some strong running from Max and Alex. A grubber kick and chase, followed by a lucky bounce off the opposition foot led to a try from Adam. First try for Charlie after hard work from the forwards winning the ball for the back line deep in the opposition 22.
Great multi angle run from Ben Leaver dancing down the wing and threading through numerous tacklers .. followed up by an excellent individual supporting ruck over from Adam. Big driving tackles from Charlie throughout put the opposition on the back foot. Excellent counter rucking from the Rochdale pack turned over Heaton attacks in the centre of pitch from Rochdale front row.
Jethro was counter rucking at every breakdown. A spate of injuries forced the changes … the pack were immense, supporting every run forward and resulted in an overlap for the back line letting Charlie run the ball from the half way. A quick tackle/release/jackal from Jethro allowed the back line another overlap giving Charlie an angle to cut back inside and run in another try from 30 metres.
Charlie chased the kick off and scored through numerous defenders in the corner. And again from the kick off identical try for Charlie. Very equal play for majority of the final session with big tackles from Hari G keeping the play in the centre of pitch .. Finished 30-25 to Rochdale according to the referee.