Rochdale News | Sports News | Rochdale Hornets 32 – 14 London Skolars

Date published: July 25, 2022

The Rochdale Hornets were forced from behind to claim a record victory at the Crown Oil Arena on Sunday (July 24) for the second game in a row after an unconvincing performance at home to the London Skolars.

The Hornets had trailed at the break but were trailed to a win by Lewis Sheridan and Cian Tyrer, with two tries each helping to secure a 32-14 victory.

In appalling conditions at the Crown Oil Arena, it was the visitors who started brilliantly and quickly took the lead – as they did in the reverse game.

Skolars fullback Jarred Bassett had too much for the Hornets defense as he broke two tackles to run on the first down of the game from the halfway mark.

Hornets hooker Kieran Rush had been a threat from the get-go and played a pivotal role in Rochdale responding quickly with his own try.

Rush’s fine break was backed up by fellow Huddersfield on loan Fenton Rogers, before pointy hands freed Cian Tyrer to score in the corner.

However, the Giants academy product’s influence was thwarted when he was shown a yellow card for dissent late in the first quarter.

The London side took full advantage of the numerical superiority when Jerome Yates passed from close range.

Things got even better for Joe Mbu’s side when the Hornets failed to recover a grubber kick, and Harry Kauman surged to move Skolars into a 14-4 lead.

Rochdale’s poor discipline continued to hurt them as influential strikers Fuifui Moimoi and Zac Baker were sentenced within moments of each other – for a high tackle and a shoulder charge respectively.

However, the Hornets coped well with 11 men and even scored their own – on the stroke of half-time – when Ben Forster forced his way in for an important try.

Matt Calland and Gary Thornton will no doubt have been frustrated with the first half performance, but got exactly the reaction they wanted moments into the second half.

Aiden Roden’s fine break pierced the London defense before the hooker, on his return from injury, chose Lewis Sheridan to score.

The substitute full-back converted his own try to level the scores.

Sheridan then came back to the fore for his team, about ten minutes later, when he leaped through the Skolars defense to put his team ahead for the first time.

The Capital side thought they had leveled things when Elliot Hutchings went through the whitewash, but the confrontation was ruled offside from the kick chase.

Moments later, the Hornets extended their lead.

Ben Calland was the quickest to react to a fine spot kick from Cobi Green, and the right-sided center netted a crucial score.

Now two scores clear, Rochdale was forced to defend for much of the final quarter but held on for plenty of sets – in threatening positions – to register an impressive second-half shutout.

Tyrer would then cap the victory by getting his second try of the game.

The winger received a looping pass from Paul Brearley and ran to score, before Rush added the extras with the game’s final act.

The victory marks the Hornets’ fourth in a row and also confirms a place in this year’s Ligue 1 playoffs.

However, they will be hoping for a better performance in next Sunday’s crucial game with local rivals Swinton Lions (3pm kick-off).

Hornets: Sheridan, Tyrer, Calland, Nixon, Hitchcox, Brearley, Green; Bennion, Rush, Rogers, Forster, Baker, Tyrer.
Exchanges: Moimoi, Killan, Roden, Moran.
Tries: Tyrer (12′, 80′), Forster (39′), Sheridan (41′, 54′), Calland (66′).
Goals: Rush, 3/4. Sheridan, 1/1.

Skolars: Basett, Ball, Thomas, Small, Yates, Hutchings, Lyons; Kauman, Thornman, Gale, Vrahnos, Juma, O’Callaghan.
Exchanges: Cox, Ross, Greenhalgh, Mcdonald.
Tries: Bassett (9′), Yates (25′), Kauman (28′).
Goals: Lyon, 2/3.

Georges Newell

Ruth J. Leeds