With the previous week’s poor display in the defeat against Darlington still fresh in the mind, Rossendale knew to well the magnitude of this game. So it was no surprise that Dale came flying out of the blocks against a young Burnage side. Within minutes of the kick off, Dale’s ‘go to’ runners were prominent putting pressure on Burnage which led to Wynand Van Zyl scoring after Stephen Nutt charged down a clearance. Nutt added the extras to put Dale 7-0 to the good. Dale opened up breathing space between themselves and their visitors when prop Leighton Taylor powered over following some good running rugby from the home side. The conversion was successful and Dale led 14-0 at the break. The second half started like the first ended, with Dale maintaining their dominance – and two tries in quick succession sealed the bonus point. Taylor crossed for his second of the game before Paddy Pole popped up with the fourth. It was Dale’s best period of the half with repeat penalties allowing Burnage to get on the front foot after the tries and, to their credit, they pulled a try back from a quick tap and go to dive over. The resilience and fitness of the away side came through as they attacked at will from all over the park. They were only quashed when a period of pressure from Dale, culminating from a break and offload from Wynand Van Zyl, leading to Tom Bedlow receiving a wide pass to drop over the line in the corner. It was the final score of the game thanks largely to good scramble defence from the home side which prevented Burnage from adding a second try.
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