Johnson kicks Rochdale to last-play victory at Selby

In 1st XV Match Reports by Rochdale Rugby

Selby 22 Rochdale 23
Rochdale travelled to league leaders Selby on a drizzly day with a slight wind offering either side no great advantage. The first exchanges led to a number of knock ons as the 2 sides got used to the slippery ball. After the latest knock on by Rochdale in the middle of their own 22, Selby’s drives were being repelled by Rochdale until the ball was worked across the pitch to Ramsay who crossed the Rochdale try line halfway between the posts and touchline in the 9th minute. Wright added the conversion. (7-0). After 11 minutes, a Selby drive was forced into touch and from the resulting line out, Hodgkinson made a good catch with the ball fed out to the backs only stopped when Gleeson knocked on in midfield after bursting through 3 attempted tackles.

A penalty to Rochdale was put into touch by Collins that following a good line out and drive by the Rochdale pack led to a further penalty to Rochdale that Collins duly slotted through the posts. (7-3). The kick off by Selby was fielded by Joesbury who put a long kick into touch from which Rochdale stole the line out on a Selby put in, put together a good passing move that unfortunately was stopped again by a knock on by Rochdale. The game was being well contested by both sides with defence to the fore. After 21 minutes, a Yellow Card was issued to a Selby player for a high tackle on Townsend. After 24 minutes, Shanks was stopped short of the try line and Selby were forced to take the ball back over their own line for a 5M scrum to Rochdale. A solid scrum led to the ball being fed out to Townsend, who drew his man and passed to Schofield who scored a try in the corner. A superb conversion from Collins made the score 7-10 to the visitors.

From the kick off, Joesbury kicked to the Selby full back onto to his centre who dropped the ball in a favourable position. There followed again a series of knock ons by both teams with little structure to the play. A penalty to Selby in the 31st minute after Rochdale collapsed a scrum was kicked to touch, Rochdale steal the resulting lineout but made little of the ball. After 34 minutes, a penalty was awarded to Rochdale for holding on by Selby. From the resulting lineout, a good drive by the pack saw the ball passed to Gleeson who once again burst through a number of attempted tackles by Selby, but was then penalised for holding on , resulting in a penalty to Selby. A further penalty to Selby shortly afterwards led to the referee issuing a warning to the Rochdale captain, Schofield, that further transgressions might lead to a Yellow Card being issued. Further pressure by Selby from the penalty led to significant pressure being applied across the pitch on the Rochdale defences. A good Joesbury tackle led to a knock on by the Selby player. Selby took the resulting scrum against the head, but the ball was retrieved by Rochdale, passed to Joesbury who put the ball into touch to signal the end of the 1st half with Rochdale holding a slender 3-point advantage and with all to play for by both teams in the 2nd half.

After 44 minutes, a great 50/20 kick by the Selby scrum half led to a lineout in the Rochdale 22m that was taken by the Selby pack, passed out to the backs where Collins anticipated one of the passes and intercepted it. Realising that he was unlikely to run the length of the field, he cleverly chipped ahead, where the ball was taken to ground near his line by a Selby player, who then inexplicably threw the ball up straight into Gleeson’s hands who strolled over for a try that was converted by Collins (7-17). After 48 minutes all except the Selby scrum half stopped expecting the referee’s whistle, he then ran through most of the Rochdale defence, passed onto Ramsay who went over for an unconverted try (12-17). After 55 minutes, Collins put over another penalty to leave the score at the time 12-20. After 60 minutes, good pressure by Selby across the pitch led another unconverted try (17-20). Collins went off at this stage after receiving a whiplash injury suffered when he attempted a tackle. After 66 minutes, another penalty to Rochdale was pulled to the left of the posts. Play then went back and forth with both teams using their drives to test each other’s defences.

After 72 minutes, a stray pass by Joesbury was kicked through by Selby but unfortunately when in a promising position, one of their players knocked on. Further penalties to both sides ensued as both teams tried their best to secure the victory. After 79 minutes, a penalty to Selby was kicked for a 5m line out. Hodgkinson was given a Yellow Card for a misdemeanour when the line out was taken in by Selby, Selby opted for a scrum, from which they worked the ball across for an unconverted try (22-20). All players and spectators then wondered if the referee would restart play, he did. From the short kick off, Selby offended giving a penalty to Rochdale about 35 m out to the left of the posts. With Collins off the pitch, Matty Johnson stepped up and confidently stroked the ball between the posts for a 23-22 victory to Rochdale.
A thoroughly good game of rugby finished with Rochdale the winners, but Selby played their part in a game that was a credit to both teams. Eyes now turn to next Saturday’s home game against our old friends from Glossop.