Rossendale 2nd XV travelled for the 2nd time this season to Stockport to try and bring back a similar result to their last visit. Coming off the back of 3 loses and 1 win before the Christmas break Rossendale were in need of some points and more importantly a decent performance under their belt. A few personnel losses to the 1st XV and other reasons stretched the depth within the squad, however Dale travelled with a very youthful and enthusiastic side.
Looking sharp from the kick off Dale showed what sort of a team they had in the making. A few older heads guiding a Colts dominated side proved that they had the potential to give the home side a very good showing. Good organised forward play linked with some quick hands started to put Stockport under pressure early on, yet silly penalties kept losing Dale yards and eventually led to conceding the first points of the match via a well struck penalty. The entire forward pack worked incredibly hard to get into some great field position for Dale however these opportunities were squandered by a few silly mistakes and Rossendale were back to square one.
Stockport clearly knew they were in a fight and quickly stepped up a gear, running in a couple of tries through sloppy defence and poor tackling before the half.
The second half began in a very positive fashion for the dale side pilling on the pressure from the kick off but struggled to find that last bit of composure. Stockport capitalised on every single mistake and ran in a handful of tries before the full time whistle. Breaks from winger Matty John and centres Jordan Lord and Danny Bunting helped get on the front foot allowing the forwards to do what they do best however it was a case of so close but yet so far. Although Dale had been beat by the better side on the day the performance showed a lot of individual talent and skill! The evident lack of training and time as a squad was the downfall of a team that shows a lot of potential.
The final score of 51 – 0 to the Stockport side certainly did not reflect the game.
Next week – Macclesfield away