Rochdale 33 - 31 Bolton
Barnstorming display as Bolton lose in final play away to Rochdale
On Sunday Bolton played a well drilled and organised Rochdale team. Bolton were understrength with several players out injured or on duty with Lancashire. The tone was set before kick off with Rochdale still electing to play with 15 even though Bolton only had 14 players.
The game started with an intensity that continued throughout the whole match with Bolton never taking a backward step. After a good passage of play Lewis Picton crashed over for a trademark try with Sam Crompton adding the extra points with the conversion. The Bolton forwards ensured a good platform and after several crash balls Seb Donnonly scored a superb try, showing his physicality and strength. Sam Crompton again added the extras.
Half time Rochdale 0 – 14 Bolton.
In the second half Rochdale started very strongly with 3 unanswered tries putting them in the lead 17-14. All credit to the Bolton team though and they kept there cool and continued to play free flowing rugby, thoroughly earning the next score from new recruit Rhys French. The Bolton defence continued to be outstanding with Tom Platt making a thunderous hit on one of the Rochdale pack. This led to a superb solo try from Lewis Picton which was converted. The physicality of the game was starting to take its toll with both teams looking tired in the last 15 minutes.
Joel Matthews scored the try of the day with forward Connor Mansfield linking up really well with the backline and a number or off load passes leading to a fantastic try in the corner, which led to the away supporters erupting in celebration.
Rochdale were not done however and scored 2 quick tries making the score 27-31 to Bolton. The crowd had over 30 minutes at this point but alas the ref saw it differently and happily played another 5 minutes, and Rochdale nicked it at the end with a converted try.
A fantastic spectacle to watch with the whole team putting in huge performances. Rochdale will certainly see themselves as lucky to end up with the win and Bolton will consider themselves very unlucky not to take the win against tough opposition.
Final score Rochdale 33 – 31 Bolton