First win of the Season
By David Crouch
Rochdale 12 Bolton 31
On Saturday, Bolton visited Rochdale for the first time in many years. Both teams were beaten in the first match of the season, so this match was going to be ‘a winner takes all’ type of game.
Bolton started the game in a more positive way than last week. Good defence and strong tackling in the fourth minute led to Jack Robinson
making a break down the left wing, beating his man on the outside, then passing inside to Rhys Pritchard
, who in turn drew the fullback and passed to Josh Holmes
to score. Mike Mills
added the conversion. Rochdale slowly started to come back into the game through their forwards, but Bolton’s defence was strong. In the twenty-eighth minute Bolton were awarded a penalty just outside the Rochdale twenty-two, but unfortunately Mike Mills
kicked it wide. Not deterred, Bolton kept up the pressure and within three minutes they were on the scoreboard again via a lovely chip-through from Will Bate
. Josh Holmes
beat the opposition to the touchdown. Mills added the conversion again. Then Rochdale really came into the game and put Bolton under a lot of pressure for about six or seven minutes close to Bolton’s goal-line and should have scored but again Bolton’s defence held firm. In the thirty-fourth minute Bolton had moved up into Rochdale’s twenty-two and Niall Murphy
made a lovely pass to put Louis Critchlow
in for his second try of the season. Mike Mills
added the conversion. In the thirty-eighth minute Rochdale had a five-metre scrum and pushed Bolton back so their number 8 scored.
Half time score: Rochdale 7 Bolton 21
Bolton started the second half very well - from the restart they worked their way down field and were awarded a penalty; Will Bate
took it quickly and Jack Robinson
was up in support. He took Will’s pass, drew the full back and passed to Alex Waddicar
who scored the try in the forty-third minute. Rochdale worked hard to make indents to Bolton’s defence through their forwards; coming close to scoring on a couple of occasions. In the fifty-fifth minute Will Bate
ran through the Rochdale defence and scored a very good individual try. Rochdale replied with a try from a well-coordinated catch and drive from a five-metre lineout. The final whistle blew with Rochdale still trying to use their forwards to break down the Bolton defence.
Final Score: Rochdale 12 Bolton 31
This was a much better performance from the Bolton team in both attack and defence. Although Rochdale were beaten, they ensured Bolton worked for the win. Congratulations to Tom Crooks who made his first appearance for the first team.
Man of the Match: Josh Holmes