2nd XV
Rossendale RUFC
2nd XV
Tries: J Dutton (2), B Stephens, H Wells, A Bradshaw (2)Conversions: A Potgieter (2)
Macclesfield 2nd XV
What a difference a week makes !

What a difference a week makes !

john bridge15 Apr - 19:08
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With fifth spot on the line the Dale lads had to be up for this one .

It promised to be a big afternoon on Saturday gone when the two teams sitting fourth and fifth in the Cotton Traders Premier league came head to head at Marl Pits in the penultimate game of the season. Neutrals would not have been disappointed. It was fast and furious , not always the best but certainly heart in mouth stuff to the very end. Macclesfield the visitors on the day certainly gave a game they will remember for a long time against a rejuvenated second team from the Rossendale club.
The game was not for the faint hearted
Rossendale were on the score sheet in the very first minute . A superb break by John Tuia ripped the Macc defense apart and found a delightful offload for supporting players to take the ball into the opponents 22 where Tuia again became involved and only had to walk the ball over the line but unselfishly offloaded to the supporting Johnny Dutton who got the honour of doing so.
It looked easy but Macclesfield hadn't come up the M6 for a pasting and soon recorded a penalty goal followed up by a converted try after some defensive lapses by the home side to take the lead.
It was even Stevens over the next 15 minutes or so until Rossendales own, Zach Stephens took the initiative to power over from close quarters with AJ Potgieter adding the extras.
Rossendale were in the ascendancy at this point though the weather was playing havoc and causing to many errors. Johnny Dutton however received a wonderful pass deep within his own half and went on a splendid touch hugging run outpacing defenders all the way until the very last yard where he was caught by the full back and brought down. Dutton promptly released the ball then regained his feet within milli seconds and regathered it into his hands to dive over that last yard and record a magnificent try not only from the skill in his run but having the presence to conform to the rules of the game and take full advantage of the situation.
Hayden Wells finished the scoring in the first half almost on the bell and capped a very good half from him which included three humdinger of tackles which the opposing players fully felt.
So 22-10 at half time and with Rossendale in complete ascendancy , the home side having the advantage of the slope in the second half what could go wrong. Fortunately very little at that time although Macc opened the half with some strong running and good pack work to give Dale a fright. It was back to the chess board with both sides trading runs and good defensive efforts but really the skill level was again slightly wanting and far to many errors taking place.
Albert Bradshaw broke the deadlock taking a good pass and strongly finishing the move and it was Bradshaw again who scored the next try this time with a long and mazy run out stripping defenders through the middle of the park and going some 50 metres to finish a great try from him. AJ Potgieter added a further two points and that was Rossendale into a 34 -10 lead with fifteen minutes remaining . Rossendale didn't take their foot off the gas but could and should of had several more tries before the end of the game . Several good runs from Toby Cole , Marcus Yates and Joe Robertson Maher came to nought.
Cue the recovery from Macclesfield. Two converted tries for them brought the score back into a rather uncomfortable zone for the home the home side and with Macc looking the stronger outfit towards the back end of the game and the ten points they needed for the difference was certainly a strong possibility for them.
Fortunately Rossendale had enough left in them to thwart the next attack and regain some territory to give some breathing space . With moments left and having won a penalty the ball was booted off the park for the last play of the game and to seal a bonus point win . This also takes Rossendale into the fifth spot in the league . The highest they have ever been in this very strong league with only teams ahead of them whose First team sides play in the National Leagues. A tremendous achievement .
Excellent performances on the day from AJ Potgieter who harassed and harangued his opposing scrum half and threw some delightful passes out, George Peel who gave another workmanlike Captains knock and to Joe Robertson - Maher who grafted all afternoon and played a massive role in winning this match for the Club. Player of the match however was given to a young man who was playing his first game in a while and did a solid job all afternoon, Ryan Fazakerley.
Next week is the final game of the season for the Dale side when the visitors are Fylde Hawks. Kick off is 3pm at Marl Pits.

Match details

Match date

Sat 13 Apr 2024





League position

Macclesfield 2nd XV
Rossendale 2nd XV
Team overview
Further reading

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