Rochdale Hornets 15-30 London Broncos
Friday 13th April 2018, 19:45pm
Championship - Round: 11
Ben Moores, Declan Kay,
Harvey Livett 3,
Kieran Dixon 3, Sadiq Adebiyi 2,
Jarrod Sammut 3, Kieran Dixon 2,
HORNETS HEART ON SHOW IN DEFEAT
Rochdale Hornets emerged from the mist of the Crown Oil Arena with a huge task ahead of them, and despite their inability to pull off a shock victory they headed down the tunnel to rapturous applause.
Without perspective their efforts in defeat were incredible enough, however when you delve further it becomes even more impressive.
On Easter Monday, Alan Kilshaw’s men faced Featherstone Rovers before a short turnaround saw them visit Leigh Centurions on the following Sunday. Five days later they had to do it all again against London Broncos, making it a hat-trick of full-time opponents.
Between those bruising encounters the Hornets coaching staff were given the almost impossible task of patching up their troops, with the demands of part-time rugby league taking its toll.
With that in mind, Kilshaw rested Gary Middlehurst and Lee Mitchell, while Lewis Palfrey was hospital bound, with Dec Gregory and Rob Massam nursing injuries.
That saw him include Taylor Welch, a matter of days after he had stepped off a plane from Australia following his transfer during the week. Danny Yates, Dave Allen and Richard Lepori also returned, while Harvey Livett featured on dual registration.
Freshening up the 17 seemed to have worked perfectly in the first half, as an unbelievable defensive effort saw Rochdale dig their heels in on their own line time and time again.
They showed their resolve inside the opening exchanges, repelling back-to-back sets before striking up the other end through Ben Moores, who had spotted a hole from dummy half.
Hornets churned out their sets, completing at a high rate with some no-thrills football before more sustained pressure from London finally broke their deadlock. Four sets in a row led to Kieran Dixon racing over out the back amid calls for obstruction from the defence, however they were ignored and the scores were level.
The hosts claimed their lead back soon after, as Livett made up for a penalty goal he had missed earlier in the half by adding two points to the scoreboard, before his Warrington Wolves teammate Dec Patton slammed a one-pointer over.
That three point advantage lasted just five minutes of the second period, as Dixon bounced off Yates’ attempted tackle to give the Broncos a lead they would never relinquish.
Unfortunately, the completion rate began to fall as some yardage errors and costly penalties led to the visitors taking control.
Sadiq Adebiyi grabbed a quick fire double to open up a 13 point advantage, as he found his way over from close range twice within four minutes.
Hornets were harshly denied a chance to claw their way back into the contest, as a Patton kick was knock on into the path of Deon Cross, before the wide man was pulled back for offside despite the original offence from the Broncos.
When Jay Pitts broke through the middle soon after and laid on Dixon’s hat-trick try it was game over, with just 14 minutes remaining on the clock.
That never stopped Hornets throwing everything they had at their opponents though, as a miracle ball out the back from Patton sent the impressive Dec Kay over seven minutes from time.
Dixon had the last say with the boot, as he benefitted from a questionable call which saw the referee claim Patton’s goal-line drop-out hadn’t gone 10 metres before finding touch.
Another dubious decision saw Richard Lepori have a try chalked off, as he was denied a free-play from a London knock-on from the restart, as Hornets were awarded a scrum rather than four points.
It wouldn’t have changed the result though, as the visitors saw out the final minute to pick up the two points and head back to the capital with the win.
With the recent run of results it would have been easy for the supporters to be dismayed. Instead though, they understood how big of an effort their team had come up with and showed their appreciation.
HORNETS: Dec Kay, Richard Lepori, Taylor Welch, Earl Hurst, Deon Cross, Dec Patton, Danny Yates, Joe Taira, Ben Moores, Luke Adamson, Toby Adamson, Dave Allen, Harvey Livett. Subs: Lewis Hatton, Pat Moran, Billy Brickhill. Not used: Blake Turner.
Tries: Moores (6), Kay (73) Goals: Livett 3/4 Field Goal: Patton (40)
BRONCOS: Kieran Dixon, Elliott Kear, Michael Channing, Ben Hellewell, Rhys Williams, Api Pewhairangi, James Meadows, Thomas Spencer, Jarrod Sammut, Edward Battye, William Lovell, Jay Pitts, Matthew Davis. Subs: Sam Davis, Lewis Bienek, Sadiq Adebiyi, Daniel Hindmarsh.
Tries: Dixon (34, 45, 66), Adebiyi (54, 58) Goals: Sammut 3/4, Dixon 2/2
Rochdale13 Man of the Match: Dec Kay has been in brilliant form of late, showing his class at the back with his clever kick returns and ability to mop up tricky situations. He was always on the shoulder looking for an offload, and his efforts were rewarded with a late try.