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RFU Magazine - April



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Notice of 2014 Annual General Meeting
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Under 15s Win the Lancashire Vase, report by Geoff Gillan
Blacksticks U15s Vase Final
13 April 2014

Rochdale RUFC Under15s played their finest hour last Sunday when they travelled to Leigh to compete in the Lancashire “Blacksticks” Vase & Plate Finals against Widnes RUFC, with Rochdale bringing the Silverware back home.

In a game that was intense from the Kick Off, the first 10 minutes were spent with forwards action midfield in numerous Scrums and line outs, Rochdale broke the deadlock, breaking the defensive line just inside the Widnes half, with a powerful sprint down the wing by team newcomer Aaron Barclay, providing the assist to set up a try that was unfortunately disallowed for Ben Pearson.

Play settled back into midfield, both sides having equal possession, before Dominic McDonnell made a weaving run through challenging tackles, keeping hold of the ball before offloading for a quick succession of passing down the line making space for Jacob Robinson to outpace the Widnes winger to score Rochdale’s first try of the game.

Following a missed conversion, Rochdale received the restart, immediately setting up a ruck to retain possession. At this point, with a succession of Scrums & Lineout play, Ben Coulter was brought on for Rochdale to cancel the threat of the strong Widnes lineout jumpers breaking through the Rochdale line.

The Rochdale forwards maintained an admirable defensive wall however, with Nathan Doyle, Jack Holt, and Will Durcan in particular standing up to a pressurised onslaught from the powerful Widnes pack.

Widnes continually tried to force Rochdale back, trying to kick their way up field looking for position, but Patrick Gillan at full-back ably fielded their Garryowen’s, and replied with his own positional kicks or driving runs back into Widnes territory.

Rochdale understood their game plan, but, despite the quick ball to their backs that outpaced the Widnes back line; they were unable to score again in the first half, ending the period with a 5 nil lead.

Following the half-time break, Rochdale took the game to Widnes once again, using their already proven tactics, the pack providing go-forward ball at the scrum, with Charlie Spuznar, and Tom Gullen communicating well between them, to provide quick ball to the backs.

Buoyed by the vocal Touchline support, Rochdale advanced up the field, and following a powerful drive and rolling maul, Captain Tom Hanna forced his way over the line and touched down for Rochdale’s 2nd try. Although the conversion was missed, Rochdale now had a good lead going into the final 20 minutes.

Following the score, Widnes regrouped, and within a few minutes of the Rochdale try used their powerful forwards as battering rams to push back the Rochdale defence. Breaking through at an attacking lineout, Widnes scored a try, but like Rochdale, missed the conversion to make it 10-5 to Rochdale setting up a nail-biting final 10minutes.

Again, Rochdale picked up the pace, and following a great restart kick, kept the pressure on Widnes, to force a penalty in front of the posts. The penalty was successfully taken by Jack ‘Spud’ Green, giving Rochdale some breathing room at 13 – 5 as they entered the final 5 minutes of play.

Rochdale had made tactical substitutions throughout the game, none more so than Andy Riley coming back from injury, to provide solid tackling, bolstering the impervious Rochdale defence which a valiant Widnes side couldn’t break through despite trying again and again.

With seconds left of the match, Rochdale stood up against a desperate Widnes attack, as they again looked to force the Rochdale lads back. The Rochdale defence held, winning a turnover at the ruck, where the ball escaped to the back for Gillan to pick it up and kick it into touch for the referee to blow for full-time, signalling a start to the Rochdale celebrations as Winners of the Lancashire “Blacksticks” U15s Vase trophy.

Excellent Team Play between the Rochdale Lads throughout saw strong support game time also from Squad Members Joe Hynes, Kieran Copple, Jack Tickle & Owen Handley all featuring within the final.

With Thanks to Widnes RUFC U15s for an exciting competitive game, & Thanks to Leigh RUFC for hosting an enjoyable Finals day.

Rochdale would like to also like to Thank the U15s Coaches Simon Joesbury, Nick Green, Geoff Gillan and Jason Holt, and Manager Paula Doyle for all their hard work in getting the lads to this tremendous achievement.


BACKS: (15-9) Patrick Gillan, Jacob Robinson, Owen Handley, Dominic McDonnell, Tom Hanna (C), Jack Green, Tom Gullen.

FORWARDS: (1-8) Aaron Barclay, Charlie Spuznar, Nathan Doyle, Kieran Copple, Joe Hynes, Ben Pearson, Will Durcan, Jack Holt.

SUBS: Jack Tickle, Gino Palombo, Ben Coulter, Andy Riley.

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2013 14 Fixtures at a glance
Senior Fixtures for 2013/14 updated 20/04/14
Lancashire Trophy Final at Wigan added
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Dear Member

We have now received our allocations for all tickets for the Rugby World Cup 2015 which you can view below.

All application forms must be delivered personally to the club and handed to either Mel or Myself. You then will be handed a receipt to acknowledge your application. No other form of application will be accepted.

Iain Coates
RRUFC Chairman

click here for Application Form

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M & J Fixtures 2013/14
Mini and Junior Fixtures 2013/14 at a glance
Updated 31/03/14 Neath added in triangular for U16s
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RFU Code of Rugby to which we aspire
Please Read This

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