Weakened Crocs no match for Rochdale

Jack Hammond
Jack Hammond

Rochdale 40 Old Crossleyans 12

Old Crocs travelled to Rochdale for this re-arranged North One East fixture severely depleted due to injuries and unavailabilities.

That was reflected in the scoreline as Rochdale outplayed the visitors - although the final scoreline did not accurately reflect the effort the patched-up Crocs put in.

Those drafted in gave maximum effort but they were always going to struggle against a strong Rochdale outfit who fielded big powerful forwards and young fast backs.

Crocs had three scrum halves covering the backs with Ed Cockroft, taking the No9 shirt playing his first game of the season. Will Brian returned to the wing, Chris Vine switched to centre with wing Billy Hammond operating in the back row for part of the game. Further disruption was caused when the fourth No 9, Will Travis, was hurt in training.

Cohesion suffered as a result coupled with a lack of forward power, especially after No8 Ryan Hammond and flanker Matt Schofield suffered injuries in the first half which resulted in them taking no further part in the game.

Their cause was also not helped by some strange refereeing decisions and a yellow card for Cockroft after he questioned one of the the official’s decisions

Everything Rochdale tried came off and this led to them scoring three converted tries by half time to lead 21-0, and a further three after the break for a 40-0 advantage. Fine kicking from full back James Duffy saw him miss just one conversion and one penalty despite the strong crosswind.

Crocs added some respectability to the scoreline in the last five minutes when man of the match and stand off Jack Hammond, who tackled strongly all game, cut through the middle to score under the posts for wing Gareth Sweeney to convert.

The second try was a real family affair as Jack Hammond started the move which was carried on by flanker George Hammond. He in turn fed third brother Billy Hammond who outpaced the cover to go over in the corner, the conversion attempt falling just wide.