Rochdale run league leaders close

In 1st XV Match Reports by Rochdale Rugby

Rochdale 17 Anselmians 26

After last week’s last-minute win at Altrincham Kersal, Rochdale were in good spirits as they took on the league leaders at Moorgate Avenue. This would be Aidy Gleeson’s last game before he departs for Australia.

The game started in bright sunshine with good underfoot conditions made for good running rugby. After 2 minutes, a penalty to Anselmians led to a line out that quickly found its way to Morley, who scored and converted his own try. 0-7 to Anselmians. After 7 minutes, crossfield play by Rochdale with good passing between Schofield, Gillan and back to Scofield to score a well worked try that was converted by Coldman. 7 -7. After 13 minutes, the referee adjudged a deliberate knock on by Baker of Rochdale and issued a yellow card to him. After 14 minutes, a good passing move by Anselmians was stopped by a great try saving tackle by Schofield. After 18 minutes, a penalty to Rochdale near the Anselmians line led a scrum, from which Joesbury threw a great pass to Gillan for a walk-in try. 12-7 to Rochdale.

Some further pressure by Rochdale was only relieved when a penalty was awarded to Anselmians for holding on and not releasing the ball by Rochdale. After 27 minutes, a penalty in midfield was awarded to Anselmians for retaliation when most spectators saw that this was caused by the Anselmians number 3 leading with a forearm to the face of the Rochdale player. A further penalty ensued and led to Morley scoring and converting his 2nd try. 12-14 to Anselmians. After 34 minutes, a penalty to Rochdale led to a good break by Gillan, that was only stopped when he chipped ahead and was barged off the ball that was not seen by the referee. After 38 minutes, a good break by Schofield from his own 22 then went through 4 pairs of hands to lead to Baker scoring in the corner. 17-14 to Rochdale, which was also the half time score.

After 42 minutes, a try was scored with the conversion scored by Morley. 17-21 to Anselmians. After 53 minutes, good defence by Rochdale thwarted Anselmians after they had been awarded a penalty in the Rochdale 22. After 54 minutes, Anselmians were awarded a penalty in the Rochdale 22, followed by a line out and rolling maul that led to an unconverted try. 17-26 to Anselmians. After 58 minutes, a good charge down of a clearing Anselmians kick by Hodgkinson led to a good driving maul and ball played out but unfortunately dropped just short of the try line. After 62 minutes, Rochdale were penalised when putting pressure on the Anselmians scrum in their own 22, this led to a clearing kick by the visitors. After 66 minutes, Anselmians were penalised for the first time for a ‘truck and trailer’ drive. After 75 minutes, an Anselmians player was penalised for not releasing the ball. From the resulting line out after the ball had been kicked into touch, Rochdale advanced forward but the ball was knocked on near the Anselmians try line. Final score Rochdale 17 Anselmians 26.

A good performance by Rochdale, who remained 5th in the table and one that showed they had a lot to be optimistic about for the remainder of the season. There is a free weekend next Saturday before Rochdale travel to Birkenhead Park on 26th November to play the 3rd placed team in the league.