West 27 Rochdale 12

By Dave Picken - January 19 2014
West 27 Rochdale 12 A few weeks ago coaching co-oridnator Phil Wallis began collating stats from the match video to show how individual players are performing in terms of tackles made, tackles missed, yardage gained etc etc. It's not an exact science, and  not every player is best pleased by the stats posted in the first team dressing room ... but they will be this week.

This was a tremendously committed perfomance by every West player who took to the field against a Rochdale side on  the crest of a wave, and who had clearly come to continue running in tries.

That challenge, a desire to keep our home run going and, perhaps in some cases, a desire to prove the statistician wrong brought out the best in West.

Not even a late change to the line-up could throw the home side off its stride. Ian Pinchen had been awake most of the night with a back problem , and Gez the phsyio worked on him up to an hour before kick off but to no avail.

"Pinhead" has been one of the stand-out players in recent games, particularly in the loose, and his absence ruined part of the game plan.

Instead, Rollins moved to prop with Andy Dixon coming in at hooker and going on to work his ageing socks off the next 67 minutes. Ross Wood moved up from the Stags to provide front row cover.

Both sides began the game with attacking intentions with the visitors missing a penalty before Scott Butcher got the first try of the afternoon.

The winger was alert as 'Dale attacked along the West 22 and took an excellent interception and set off on an eighty metre gallop which outpaced the despairing defence. Stu Waites had no problem with the conversion from under the posts.

This was our first interception try of the season, but both sides could have had more in a game where the backs were willing to throw the ball out wide.

With skipper Danny Boatman leading from the front, and brother Jonny and Owen Bennett on top form, we gradually imposed ourselves on Dale. The line-out problems which had beset us in the first game at Moorend were banished with Bennett and the athletic Danny winning more than their fair share.

It resulted in a penalty from Waites on 20 minutes and as the pressure mounted Rochdale lock Tom Helliwell was sin-binned.

The West pack then camped in the visiting 22,  and were making steady progress as they rucked their way to the line just before the break with Sam Miller in control and looking likely to touch down wide on the right.

This was all too much for Dale flanker Andy Donohue who broke ranks to run round and kick the ball away from the feet of the young No 8. The resulting penalty try gave Waites a much easier shot at the conversion than he might have had, and with one player already in the bin the visitors were lucky not to have another.

The half time score of 17-0 was just about right, and with the wind behind us in the second half there was some confidence that our home record would remain intact.

Just one minute into the half that hope was stengthened when Waites slotted another penalty.

However, a side which had scored 99 points in its previous two games wasn't going to lie down and they worked their way back up the pitch for  Michael Bradwell to dive over in the corner to beat a couple  of despairing flying tackles.

Coldman missed the conversion, and we came back and mounted  a series of attacks which Dale rebuffed until a typical piece of ingenuity from Stu Waites.

He found a little space in midfield just outside the 22. Spotting a gap he chipped the ball ten metres ahead and raced through the cover to gather and go in under the posts to give West a 27-5 lead.

Clinching a bonus point when in control of a game has not been one of our strong points in recent games and so it was to prove again, but against a hard working and well coached side winning was the most important thing.

However, it was Rochdale who had the final say in the 73rd minute when they worked their way back up the pitch with Alisdair Harper finishing off a catch and drive and Coldman slotting an excellent conversion from the tyouchline.

Coates, Hogan and replacement Andy Turner all went close to getting over the line as  we continued to have the lion's share of the game.

All in all an excellent game played in a very good spirit and well refereed  by Daniel Taylor from Manchester.

The challenge now is for the West players to keep up that work rate and make the "Wallis Stats" pleasant reading every week

West: Colin Cheslin, Scott Butcher, Andrew Cheslin, Liam Bailey, Luke Mallinson, Stu Waites, Ryan Painter,  Andrew Rollins, Andrew Dixon [Ross Wood 67] Adam Coates, Owen Bennett, Michael Hogan [Andy Turner 67], Dan Boatman [c], Jon Boatman, Sam Miller. Changes not used Davy Tighe.

Tries: Butcher, Waites, Pen Try.

Cons: Waites [3]

Pens: Waites [2]

Rochdale: James Duffy, Alisdair Harper, Stephen Campbell, Jonathon Mair, Oliver Coldman, Robert Neave [c], Dominic Serridge, Tom Callaghan, Dan Bamford, Dale Slalom, Shaun Needham, Thomas Helliwell, Andrew Donohue, Ross Hartley, Michael Bradwell. Changes: Robert Ward, Tom Hindle, Darren James

Tries:  Needham, Coldman

Cons: Coldman [1]

Yellow: Helliwell

West 27 Rochdale 12
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
19/01/2014 11:13
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Re: West 27 Rochdale 12
Rozzy 1 (IP Logged)
19/01/2014 12:52
It certainly as a good team performance ... what a shame we slip up on our travels.
Rochdale got a bit of a shock and were lucky not to be beaten by a bigger margin. If they had got that second yellow at a time when they already had a forward in the bin, it might have been different.

Re: West 27 Rochdale 12
Denny Dixon (IP Logged)
19/01/2014 13:26
Slipping up on our travels and missing out on bonus points is the reason we are 3rd and not 2nd. It is a worthwhile situation to remedy. It is still not too late but I reckon we have to win every game from hereon in to stand a chance of play off position. From the Rochdale performance report then we are well capable of this and we must apply ourselves as we obviously did on Saturday.

Re: West 27 Rochdale 12
20/01/2014 10:37
An excellent all round team performance with our tackling the main feature. Keep working hard lads and you will get your rewards.

Re: West 27 Rochdale 12
Dave Picken (IP Logged)
20/01/2014 11:16
Video now added

Re: West 27 Rochdale 12
Stan the Camel (IP Logged)
20/01/2014 19:03
Completely agree, WPA. I don't think we have played as well this season. The whole squad put in a tremendous performance. We looked sharp in attack and the defence was immense.

Re: West 27 Rochdale 12
MikeyBoy (IP Logged)
21/01/2014 11:23
Has there ever been a more obvious penalty try decision?!!!

Re: West 27 Rochdale 12
Parental Unit (IP Logged)
21/01/2014 13:40
No but he pretty much got away with it as we would have scored the try anyway. All it cost Rochdale was the two points for the conversion which Stuey may have got anyway.
He should really have received a yellow by the letter of the laws.

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