The first home game of the season was against a Fylde team who came with a large squad and reputation of being a quality team.
At kick off Rochdale immediately conceded a Scrum which Fylde capitalized upon, moving the ball through the hands across a well disciplined backline, to score the first try of the day.
Traditional slow starters the Rochdale team sprang into life, a kick and chase by Joe and Luke, for Luke to Jackal the ball and go over to score. The second came in the shape of Joe again who took fast ball from Gavin out of the Rochdale scrum, spotted a gap and darted through to score, putting Rochdale into the lead.
The next ten minutes were all Fylde with two well worked scores, the Fylde lads played some lovely rugby keeping their space and moving the ball through hands. Rochdale fell into their habit from last year of being drawn towards the ruck giving Fylde overlap’s out wide.
The pendulum swung back to Rochdale for the next period with 4 unanswered tries, the first came after some good front foot driving from Ben, good hands from Gavin to Joe then onto Luke for him to force his way over. The next was a great team try, attacking the Fylde defense time and time again, the ball moving from corner to corner, a great pass from Calum to Evan gave him a one on one opportunity – he wasn’t going to be denied! The next was a long rang individual effort from Luke catching the ball from kickoff and getting over for his hat-trick.
Rochdale were playing with real continuity now, forwards and backs generating quick ball, from ruck to ruck everyone playing their part, Darren was instrumental in the next score getting behind the Fylde defense, great ball movement and strong work from a maul gave Joe Horne the ball for him to spin away from contact to score again.
Three scores down Fylde turned up the pressure again, camping Rochdale on their line, some heroic defense so much better than the previous week, kept the Fylde lads out for phase after phase; however in the end the line broke and a well disciplined Fylde team got another to take the score to 6-4.
In a carbon copy of the Fylde try it was Rochdale’s turn to stress the Fylde line, phase after phase of attack was repelled, ball held up over the line, 5m scrums, more phases before Joe Kersh finally crashed over, after one of his trade mark committed short range drives.
All in all a great game of Rugby by two well matched teams, the camaraderie of the lads from both teams could be clearly seen at the end of the game. This was probably the best overall team performance we have seen with each and every player putting in a shift and playing for each other - we have seen that as a team they are even better than the sum of their individual parts.
Role on to the cup game next week, let’s keep this momentum up.