Anselmians down Dale in spirited contest

On a perfect Saturday for rugby, with a packed clubhouse and a firm pitch, Saints knew they would be pushed all the way by a strong Rochdale squad.

It was obvious from the start Rochdale were a big pack and looking to match the home team up front.

It took eight minutes for Saints to unlock the visitors’ defence with a pick and go with good ball retention and Tom Gilbert went in close to the posts 7-0.

Saints were beginning to go through the gears and had Rochdale pinned in their own half when on 17 minutes, Saints gave the ball away in their opponent’s 22; the Rochdale winger went the length to score close to the posts 7-5.

Saints lineout was again supplying steady front foot balls for their midfield with James O making his customary hard yards. With 26 minutes on the clock, Saints worked their way into Dale’s red zone, won a quick ruck ball and Fred took a flat pass five metres out to go under the posts 14-5.

Saints made changes at halftime, moving Liam Sadler into 9 and bringing Ewan Nolan into the midfield. Immediately, Nolan broke through and took the play deep into Rochdale’s 22, with clean recycled ball Saints kept possession for four phases before being held up over the line allowing Rochdale off the hook. 

Saints kept up the pressure on Dale who had begun to infringe and give away penalties, on 54 minutes Saints elected to keep the scoreboard ticking over when Dai took 3 points to take Saints to 17-5.

Rochdale were struggling to break out of their half when Saints were kicking into the corners and after 65 minutes following a trademark 5 metre catch and drive Degsy Salisbury managed to crash over taking the score to 24-5 and Saints were chasing the bonus point.

Rochdale had other ideas and kept in the game to the end when they went in after 72 minutes to score the final points of the match and take the final score to 24-10. 

Next week, Saints welcome local rivals Birkenhead Park to Eastham for what will be the biggest game of the season. If the home team can come through that victorious it will be another big stride towards promotion.  

Image credit: Derek Salisbury Snr

3Birkenhead Park18140466433233213271
5Firwood Waterloo1911085554718410357
6Altrincham Kersal187011381442-619441
7Vale of Lune188010378470-927140
9Winnington Park196013462645-1836434
10Douglas (I.O.M.)195014368559-1915328
11Broughton Park173014290604-3142216

15 Andrew Cummings
14 Joel Ashton
13 Liam Sadler
12 Ransford Otutaha
11 Adam Bramhall
10 David Morley
9 George Manger
1 Kostja Vezanovs
2 Robert O’Donnell
3 Derek Salisbury
4 Samuel Gregory
5 Fred Clark
6 Thomas Gilbert
7 Jack Sanders
8 William Grabe
Anselmians Subs
S1 John Boundy
S2 Mathew Ashby
S3 Ewan Nolan

15 Joshua Schofield
14 Patrick Gillan
13 Oliver Coldman
12 Josh-luke Gibson
11 Simon Moore
10 Matthew Johnston
9 Daniel Joesbury
1 Ayrton Campbell
2 Jonathan Bradley
3 Harry Hill
4 Edward Shanks
5 Andrew Foster
6 Ross Hartley
7 Edward Bateman
8 Christopher Hodgkinson
Rochdale Subs
S1 Thomas Hindle
S2 Ethan Poole
S3 Bradley Fox

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