Rochdale 15 – AKRFC 45
U13s Provide Thrilling Display to Beat Rochdale
AKRFC travelled to Rochdale on a beautiful Sunday morning to take advantage of a cancelled cup fixture and play a match with an independent ref.
Kersal opened their account soon after kick-off with what is become a trademark score – taking the ball at speed in order to smash through the opposition’s defence and a free run to the try line. The shortened pitch (marked out with cones) was nearly over-run but fortunately the ball was touched down safely. Altrincham were then forced to defend well on the halfway line, nearly being caught out by quick penalties, but they held firm.
AK’s second try came from a crunching tackle forcing turnover ball, followed by a powerful run that literally bounced Rochdale players out of the way to score under the posts. A scrappy period of play punctuated by knock-ons finally ended when Kersal won and took a quick penalty. The resultant crash ball made it 3 tries to nil to the visitors.
A fourth try came from some excellent rucking which created the necessary overlap for AK to run round the defence, and a fifth was delivered from the textbook formula of win scrum + pass down line = score in corner.
The first half ended with Rochdale attacking the Altrincham 22 line for the first time in the match. However, the defensive line held firm and the home side never really looked like scoring.
The second half started like so many matches this season. Despite Kersal dominating the first half, they seem to fall asleep in the third quarter and so the trend continued. Altrincham were penalised for not releasing in the tackle 5m short of their line. Rochdale took a quick penalty and walked over to score.
Both sides exchanged another try each before two tries came from the Altrincham backs. Rochdale thought they had pulled one back, but the ref judged the ball to be held up on the line. This could have demoralised Rochdale but to be fair, they kept on attacking and the pressure rewarded them with a score.
The match ended with Kersal scoring a ninth try from some strong running and a quick sidestep inside to touch down.
This was a pleasing run out against a team whose backs had some speed and good handling skills but could not find enough space to use them.
Players: Sam R, Harry, Sam M, Lonan, Jack, Isaac A, Elliott, Tom, Isaac P, Luis, Kane, Kieron, Fin.