U15s back to winning ways
By Richard Culver
Outside backs exploit the space against a big Rossendale side
Rossendale had a couple of late cry offs and assembled with just 13 players, so a mini reshuffle was needed to ensure even numbers.
The squad was bolstered by the return of Cian and Rafi, although injury kept Tom on the touchlines and Charlie was unable to travel. The starting team was
Yousuf; Charlie H; Ethan; Dan Azzanne; Will C (Capt); Jacob; Will R; Jack; Nick; Cian; Oli; Rafi
George; Alastair; Eoin; Charlie B and Matt made up the replacements.
From the off the home side made their intentions clear, looking to stretch a narrow defence and Rossendale were struggling to deal with the accuracy of passing and smart running lines from the outside backs. Will R was distributing well and the MV pack were keeping the breakdown clear of bodies and allowed lots of quick ball.
Cian was the first to profit, a good close range score following several phases where both forwards and backs linked well and Jack found the centre with a good inside pass. The conversion looked good but managed to hit both upright and crossbar and bounce out. 5-0.
Rossendale kicked long and Oli B was able to return the ball with interest, streaking away from the Rossendale backs to extend the lead, Jack added the extras, 12-0.
The game lost a little quality at this point, maybe a hint of complacency from the home side, and an unwelcome return to lateral running. Rossendale’s big pack was starting to get a little bit of authority too, benefitting from some poor handling and decision making in the MV ranks and their scrum was delivering good ball. The ‘Dale backs however were struggling to cope with the MV pressing game, Will C and Nick in particular were able to get at the opposition backs and forced a few turnovers from knock-ons.
From an MV scrum the ball was played to Ethan, who was distributing well and he floated a nice ball out to Oli who cantered in for his 2nd try. The conversion took the score out to 19-0. Shortly after that, some strong running from Azzanne led to a 4th team try, Jacob finishing the move after a nice pass for the big second row. 24-0.
Rossendale got on the scoresheet just before half time, some poor defending in midfield and a few missed tackles allowing the ‘Dale inside centre and unopposed run in from the 22. 24-7.
Alastair scored on the stroke of half time, finishing in the corner following a smart offload from Charlie B and the teams turned around 29-7.
10 minutes into the second half the match was over, Cian’s footwork taking him clear, Jack’s 2 pointer took the score difference out to 29, and Oli sealed the win with another smart run from his 22. Another successful conversion followed, 43-7.
The last 15-20 minutes was played off scoresheet, Rossendale seemed to up their physicality and had some good spells of possession, and they scored another try, with MV responding with 2 more themselves.
Overall a good morning, with the lads responding well following the heavy defeat at Lymm, and finding some cohesion. The lineout wasn’t too successful and will need more work, and the backline blitz defence tailed off as the game wore on. Everyone got a good amount of playing time though and the first 10-15 minutes were very good.
Men of the Match. From the pack Will, who harried the ‘Dale half backs all morning and helping to stop them playing with any time. Oli B from the backs, for his 3 excellent tries.