Stockport win 7-28 away at Rochdale and secure bonus point
Despite Rochdale looking dangerous for long periods it was Stockport who succeeded in getting the victory with 4 tries.
In very wet conditions Stockport secured a winning bonus point with a 28-7 win away at Rochdale. The score was not a true reflection of the game as for much of the match it was Rochdale that looked the more dangerous with ball in hand. Stockport dominated the line out and scrum half Rory Austin made some good breaks and ran in a try with a 45 metre run in the second half. Simon Currie again proved a valuable player for Stockport getting in a number of important tackles, when Rochdale seemed to have made telling breaks.
Stockport had a good start after Rochdale’s kick-off went straight into touch, a strong scrum gave Stockport the chance to get into the home 22 and 3 penalties were awarded to Stockport, they opted for scrums but were unable to take advantage and came away empty handed. On 15 minutes Stockport had another good scrum and after 3 phases the ball went out to the right and Richard Sackville-West gave an inside pass for Currie to score. Liam McGovern got the first of his 4 conversions to give Stockport a 0-7 lead. The next 15 minutes was played mainly between the 22s, with both sides making many mistakes. Rochdale kicked a penalty to touch in the Stockport 22 and their drive was good, resulting in a penalty try after prop Tom Gardner was yellow carded for dropping the maul. Rochdale dominated the last 10 minutes of the half and only desperate Stockport defence prevented them adding another try from a line out drive to leave it at 7-7 at the break.
Stockport started the second half well and added a try by lock Dan Brotherton from a line out drive on 50 minutes 7-14. There was then a scrappy period with Rochdale looking more dangerous when they had possession but an interception on half way by Stockport substitute lock James Shaw allowed him to feed Austin for his 45 metre run for a try and 7-21 with 15 minutes to go. Good running and passing by the Stockport backs gave wing Ben Turner a chance to kick ahead and the following players put the Rochdale full back under pressure and he carried over to give Stockport a 5 metre scrum. The set piece was well controlled and skipper Kieran Hibbs at Number 8 got the touch down, McGovern’s fourth conversion made it 28-7 at the final whistle.
With the 2nd and 3rd XVs both winning at home it was the first clean sweep for the club for many weeks. With a break next week the next 1st XV game is at home to Warrington on 24 March, 3.00 kick off.