Rochdale News | Sports News | Rugby League: Challenge Cup – Rochdale Hornets 36 – 16 Midlands Hurricanes

Date published: January 31, 2022

Rochdale Hornets had seven tries against the newly renamed Midlands Hurricanes en route to a 36-16 victory in the Betfred Challenge Cup.

A comfortable victory over their Betfred League One rivals means the Hornets’ name will be in the hat, in the third round draw at the Crown Oil Arena on Tuesday February 1.

The game was quick from the start, with the Hornets showing no signs of a team that hadn’t played since September.

The Hornets had come close to scoring in the first five minutes, before Joe Taira made a pass over the visitors’ goal line.

The Hurricanes posed a lot of questions, but the Hornets defense stood firm with Ben Killan in particular, who had some huge hits on his debut.

It gave Lewis Sheridan the platform to score his first try of the season, leapfrogging past two defenders and slotting under the posts.

And the hosts didn’t have to wait long for their next score either when a well-worked move saw Ben Calland score in the corner some six minutes later.

Shortly after, a big offload from Zac Baker put Gregg McNally for his first try in red, white and blue after recently joining Whitehaven.

It was then Cobi Green’s turn to score his first try for the club to send Rochdale into a 22-0 lead.

The Hornets’ momentum was then thwarted when Luke Fowden was booked for a late tackle.

The Hurricanes capitalized on their power play by scoring two quick tries through Nathan Newbound and Hadyn Freeman to cut the deficit to 12 at halftime.

The half gave Calland’s side a chance to regroup and they came out firing again in the second half.

Stalemate replacement for the injured Rangi Chase, Sheridan continued to dictate play and it wasn’t long before the Hornets scored again.

Cian Tyrer got at the end of an excellent kick from grubber Sheridan to score his first try since making his move to Rochdale permanent.

The Hornets appeared to be heading for a comfortable win again until Taira was shown a red card for a high tackle.

The Midlanders quickly capitalized with Benn Hardcastle scoring a converted try to put them within two scores heading into the final quarter.

However, the 1922 Challenge Cup winners were unfazed by this and scored two more tries through Dan Nixon and Tom Ashton to secure victory in their first runout of the season.

The win means the Hornets will be back in action in a matter of weeks in the third round, with the possibility of a tie with all of Rochdale, following Mayfield’s 18-16 victory over West Hull.

Hornets: Mcnally, Nixon, Calland, Ashton, Tyrer, Sheridan, Green, Killan, Penkywicz (C), Taira, Forster, Baker, Brearley.
Replacements: Aspey, Fowden, Davies, Roden.
Tries: Sheridan (18′), Calland (24′), McNally (28′), Green (32′), Tyrer (46′), Nixon (65′), Ashton (75′).
Goals: Sheridan, 4/7.

Hurricanes: Cowburn, Freeman, M Welham, L Welham, Croston, Scott, Hardcastle, Ryan, O’Loughlin, Clavering, Boardman, Newbound, Walton.
Replacements: Dawson, O’Sullivan, Bull, Kaufman.
Tries: Newbound (38′), Freeman (40′), Hardcastle (62′).
Goals: Hardcastle, 2/3.

Referee: Liam Rush

Turnout: 688

Ruth J. Leeds