Rochdale 40-18 South Wales

Rochdale Hornets moved up to third place in Co-operative Championship 1 after errors cost South Wales Scorpions with the final score at 40-18 at Spotlands.

However the scoreline for the Scorpions was a big improvement from last season’s play-off game where the Hornets put 60 on them and with Jamie Murphy converting just one of the Scorpions’ four tries, the score had more of a lopsided look to it.

Scorpions’ Director of Rugby Mark Rowley said: “I thought it was a much improved performance by ourselves but a couple of individual errors let them in for a couple of silly tries.

“Overall I was pleased with the performance, we’re getting somewhere now. We missed six points as well due to missed kicks but our completion of sets was a lot better this week. Our last ditch kicking on the sixth tackle wasn’t the best but overall I was quite pleased with the improvement despite the scoreline.”

Rochdale took the lead on five minutes when John Cookson forced his over the line to give Rochdale the lead. Paul Crook converted.

Scorpions levelled things on 16 minutes with an outstanding try from Andrew Gay. He picked up the ball at the half way line and avoided four or five tackles on his run to scoring. Jamie Murphy converted.

Adam Bowman managed to keep hold of the ball from Crook’s pass, and from the next tackle, Crook himself went over from acting dummy half and converted it himself.

Scorpions fought for another equaliser but Loz Wildbore and Semisi Cocker were both stopped short of the line. Lee Williams also tried to intercept to run to the line but he mishandled.

Rochdale extended their lead controversially when Danny Ekis set up Craig Ashall, with what looked suspiciously like a forward pass, who ran 30 metres to score. Crook converted.

However they weren’t allowed to get away with it a second time as this time the officials did spot a forward pass, Dayne Donoghue to Wayne English, in the final minute of the first half.

These chances were sandwiched by Semisi Cocker being sinbinned for his part in a small fight that broke out. They took advantage of the extra man early in the second half when Crook set up Dave Newton to dive over from close range. Crook converted.

But even when the Scorpions were back to 13 men, Rochdale extended their lead to 28-6 with am unconverted Dave Bloomfield try.

And following two successive penalties which enabled Hornets to work their way up the length of the field, they scored again as Donoghue crashed over. Crook converted.

South Wales didn’t give up the ghost and scored a try back on 65 minutes when a good run from Lee Williams set up Jamie Murphy in the corner.

The comeback continued when Ashley Bateman leapt on Andrew Gay’s grubber, and with the Rochdale crowd becoming more and more frustrated with their side, Neil Dallimore snuck a further try in the opposite corner. Murphy was unable to convert either of the three tries.

But Rochdale sealed the win right on the hooter when Steve McDermott scored under the sticks with Crook converting.

ROCHDALE HORNETS

5. Scott Yates
17. Dale Bloomfield
4. Matt Strong
3. Dean Gorton
2. Craig Johnson
15. Paul Crook
28. Chris Hough
18. John Cookson
11. Craig Ashall
35. Richard Merville
21. Mark Hobson
10. Adam Bowman
13. Dayne Donoghue

Subs:

8. Dave Newton
9. Steve McDermott
32. Danny Ekis
1. Wayne English

Tries: Cookson (5), Crook (20), Ashall (31), Newton (42), Bloomfield (50), Donoghue (58), McDermott (79)
Goals: Crook 6/7

SOUTH WALES SCORPIONS

27. Jamie Murphy
26. Lee Williams
4. Ashley Bateman
3. Christiaan Roets
24. Dalton Grant
12. Loz Wildbore
2. Andrew Gay
20. Hywel Davies
9. Steve Parry
10. Paul Raftery
16. Joe Burke
17. Harri Greville
13. Aled James

Subs:

14. Tom Burnell
15. Neil Dallimore
8. Semisi Cocker
11. Lewis Mills

Tries: Gay (16), Murphy (65), Bateman (71), Dallimore (74)
Goals: Murphy 1/4

Referee: Dave Merrick
Half-time: 18-6
Attendance: 402

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