Rochdale v Carlisle

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Saturday, 18th October 2008

RFU Intermediate Cup 1st Round

Edged out of the competition by their hosts they might have been, but Carlisle can now concentrate on league progress with their head held high.  Rochdale, top of the equivalent league to Carlisle, and with five league wins under their belts, obviously thought that passage to the next round might come easily.  How mistaken they were!

From the off, Carlisle took the game to Rochdale and had them on the back foot for much of the opening twenty minutes, and shocked ‘Dale with an try after just three minutes from scrum half Ben Blain, later voted by his team mates as their man of the match.


Ben Blain - Players man of the match

Ben Blain - Players man of the match

The angle was too much though for his half back partner, Glen Weightman, to add the conversion.  Carlisle maintained the initiative for a while though, in what to a large extent was a battle of wits in midfield.

The home side pegged away at the visiting defence and on twenty minutes drew level with an unconverted try before edging into the lead with a penalty sixteen minutes later.  But, just on the break Carlisle were awarded a penalty allowing Weightman to put his team into half time, level pegging.

Against the head

Against the head



In the second period Carlisle managed to maintain their fair share of the ball, through some good work from the forwards, particularly pivot, Lee Brumpton who us now starting to find form after a return from long term injury.  


Lee Brumpton - Welcome return to form

Lee Brumpton - Welcome return to form



Sadly though, the hard work having been done to get the ball, poor handling and vision in the backs meant that the side were not able to benefit.

‘Dale added an unconverted try on seventy one minutes after a spell of dominance.  Undeterred, Carlisle seemed determined to salvage something from the match and the host XV had their work cut out keeping the city side at bay in the final stages.  ‘Dale were kept penned virtually on their own line for the last seven or eight minutes as Carlisle tried to break through.  They were thwarted though, and despite numerous and repeated scrummage infringements, including five collapsed scrums, the mystery was why a penalty try was not awarded!

The disappointment was compounded after the match when the referee was overheard in conversation with his assessor, saying, “I was within half a second of giving a penalty try”.  Well, if it is in the mind, fairness dictates it should have been awarded.