Goole 13 – 31 Rochdale
Rochdale travelled to Goole for what was believed to be the first game between the 2 clubs.
The game started with Rochdale on the back foot and a penalty count that was stifling any progress by them. In the 10th minute, another penalty to Goole for Rochdale hands in the ruck led to a line out that saw the ball transferred through the backs to Smith who went in at the corner (5-0). Continued pressure by Goole was being met by good defence by Rochdale, but still no excursion into the Goole half. In the 17th minute, Rochdale were penalised for offside in front of the posts and the resultant penalty was slotted over (8-0). Finally, after 18 minutes in what was Rochdale’s first meaningful play inside the Goole half, Coldman went close. The very next minute and play saw a penalty to Rochdale that Collins put over (8-3). After 23 minutes, Rochdale drove over at a Goole ruck, got quick ball out to Hesketh who accelerated down the left wing for a try under the posts that was converted by Collins (8-10). After 32 minutes, an exchange of kicking to each other finally saw Goole put the ball through the backs’ hands to Holt who went over for a try (13-10). After 35 minutes, 2 good chips through to Howard led to a knock on by Goole and 2 penalties to Rochdale for infringements in the red zone that ultimately saw Goole clear their lines. With virtually the last play of the 1st half, a penalty to Rochdale for Goole not releasing led to a line out from which the ball found its way to Collins who danced through for a try that he also converted (13-17). Half time came with both teams believing that the game was there for the taking by them.
The 2nd half started with Goole forcing Rochdale to carry the ball over their own line, but the drop out from under the posts cleared the pressure up to near halfway. Both teams put in everything over the opening 15 minutes into breaching the other’s defence but both teams stayed resolute and the there was no further score during this time. The 52nd minute saw Goole’s Wood yellow carded for what was probably decided as a team card by the referee. In the 59th minute, a good kick through by Collins forced Goole to take the ball over their own line to give Rochdale a 5m scrum. From the scrum, the Rochdale pack rolled on to allow Castree to pop down for a try that Collins converted (13-24).
From the kick off, Rochdale knocked on with a free kick being awarded against them for an early engagement at the scrum. Goole at this point were finding it difficult to put many phases together to make any meaningful progress towards another score. A good passing move between both the pack and backs saw Collins put Sunderland through for a 4th and bonus point try that Collins duly converted from near the touchline (13-31). Goole were still not done and put together some good possession through multi phases that was ended when they knocked on. Goole’s next attempt to get through Rochdale’s smothering defence ended when a forward pass was indicated by the referee. The last few minutes saw Collins pinning the tiring Goole lads back in their own half with a series of precise kicks into space. The referee called time and saw Rochdale running out worthy winners 31-13. This was a classic game of teams taking or not taking their chances from their possession. Rochdale spent nearly all the first 20 minutes inside their own half with no ball but restricted Goole to few points. The rest of the game saw Collins controlling the play and Rochdale taking their points when available. A special mention to the Rochdale pack, who consistently pushed the larger opposing pack back at nearly every scrum, they all played their part in the Rochdale victory. With no game next week, eyes turn towards a trip to Old Brodleians in 2 weeks. Rochdale will need to be on their best form when they play another team presently above them in the league.