Anselmians slip up in the mud


Saints, buoyed by recent results, made the short trip to Rochdale in good spirits.

Rochdale have only lost once this season; to Saints. There was a full house for lunch with past players and junior teams in attendance so Rochdale were guaranteed great vocal support. The pitch was borderline playable and with substantial rain became very heavy with puddles forming after kick-off.

With only 3 subs allowed at this level, things did not bode well from the start for Saints. Ewan Nolan and Fred Clark each suffered an injury during warm-up. Saints were forced into a real arm tussle with neither side giving an inch. Stalwart defence from both teams was only broken by handling errors by both sides.

At this point in the game, Saints had survived some pressure by Rochdale due to some poor handling and poor tactical kicking which had allowed Rochdale plenty of time on the ball. However, a run by James Whitehouse powered Saints deep into the opposition  22.

Following a scrum, Will Grabe drove over only to be held up by stout Rochdale defence. Just moments later Saints were awarded a penalty in front of the sticks, but due to indiscipline, the penalty was reversed throwing away the chance of a 0-3 lead.

During the second half, the pitch was getting progressively worse and the Rochdale pack were working hard. Saints gave away 2 penalties which were both converted, giving Rochdale a 6 point lead. At this point a 5m out line out gave Saints a good attacking platform, only to be judged not straight.

Rochdale opted for another line out, only to overthrow which was seized upon by Degsy Salisbury who drove through 3 Dale players and score the only try of the game.

Morley failed to convert leaving the score 6-5 to the home side. Saints gave a penalty away due to poor discipline and Rochdale gleefully accepted another 3 points.

The final few minutes then reverted to the arm wrestle in the mud, and the referee handed out a couple of red cards, one to each side when two players decided they didn’t like one another.

Immediately after the red cards, the full time whistle blew and Rochdale were deserved winners. They made fewer mistakes than Saints and their players were well up for the task in hand and were able to better adapt to the muddy conditions.

3Winnington Park1510144443341108151
10St Benedicts175111256473-2173429
13De La Salle (Salford)153210172305-1331416-5

15 Joshua Schofield
14 Travis Townsend
13 Jack Green
12 Oliver Coldman
11 Patrick Gillan
10 Dominic Serridge
9 Daniel Joesbury
1 Harry Hill
2 Kyle Parry
3 Ben Coulter
4 Christopher Hodgkinson
5 Shaun Needham
6 Harry Hayes
7 Jacob Castree
8 Thomas Hindle
Rochdale Subs
S1 Thomas Callaghan
S2 Bradley Fox
S3 Andrew Foster

15 Andrew Cummings
14 James Whitehouse
13 Thomas Banks
12 Ransford Otutaha
11 Ewan Nolan
10 David Morley
9 Liam Sadler
1 Stephen Brooks
2 Daniel Salisbury
3 Derek Salisbury
4 Niall Cavanagh
5 Jack Richards
6 Jonathan Bonner
7 Thomas Gilbert
8 William Grabe
Anselmians Subs
S1 Kellum Friday
S2 Fred Clark
S3 Paul Sherlock

Anselmians 1st XV’s next game is home to Leigh on Saturday 19 February for a 2.15pm kick-off.

Image credit: Derek Salisbury Snr

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