Morley were well beaten by 6th placed Rossendale on a very heavy pitch which suited the bigger players of the home side.
Morley tried hard all afternoon as the rain increased during the game and never gave up trying. However, the muscular pack of Rossendale were difficult to stop when they got their rolling maul working.
They did this in the 13th minute after defending a spirited Morley start. However, a penalty, followed by a catch and drive opened up the scoring with flanker Dominic Moon going over for the first try. The sequence was repeated 8 minutes later with hooker Jack Wilkinson going over. Lewis Allen converted both tries to give Rossendale a 14 – 0 lead after 22 minutes.
Morley had started the brighter of the two teams with both Dante van der Merwe and Greiogair Hogg both having good runs up the muddy slope. Even after the two tries, Morley continued to press. Chester made the initial break and gave Kenny Sewell an easy run in to score Morley’s first try in 3 matches. Chester’s conversion got the score to 7 – 14. Given that Morley were playing up the slope in the first half that would have been a reasonable score for Morley at half time, but a missed tackle in midfield led to a good run and try from flanker Phil Mills on the stroke of half time with Allen’s third conversion being the last kick of the half.
The rain intensified in the second half but both teams continued to play good football and knock on's were a rarity. What did let Morley down was the number of times they lost the ball in contact allowing Rossendale to regain possession and set up attacks.
Morley did have a few spells on the Rossendale 5m area but Rossendale managed to stand firm and got their bonus point try from centre John Ward in the 70th minute. Allen missed the kick but Rossendale had done enough to win the game 26 – 7.
Morley have 5 matches left to make up are now 17 points that they are behind Sandal who have a game in hand.
That task starts on Saturday March 24th at home to Pocklington (KO 3pm)
From Rossendale web site - Geoff Lightfoot.
If any side can adapt to the conditions it's Rossendale as they recorded their eleventh win of the season at Marl Pits last Saturday and now have Billingham in their sites as they still have to play the North East club twice in back to back encounters due
The dreadful conditions were not conducive to open rugby but Rossendale understood the situation and took first points with a try from Dominic Moon, the back rower going over from a catch and drive after the home side, capitalising on their strength, elected to go for touch from a penalty, Lewis Allen adding the conversion.
Jack Wilkinson brought up the second again from a catch and drive also converted by Allen but Morley who despite their relegation threatened position were giving a good account of themselves created enough pressure to open up the home defence for a converted try.
Just before the interval, again forward dominance and good work from Ryan McKibbin and Jack Ward, got Phil Mills over for the third Allen's conversion sending the home side in 21-7 ahead at the interval.
With conditions underfoot deteriorating further there were few opportunities in the second period but from a peel off from the back of a line out by Reece Tomlinson and with Curtis Strong on hand to provide the link Ward went in for the fourth and the bonus point.
Updated 20:09 - 11 Mar 2018 by Dennis Elam