South Wales 32 Rochdale 30
South Wales Scorpions won at home for the first time this season when they held on to beat Rochdale Hornets in an exhilarating match in front of their largest league crowd of the season.by NRL
South Wales Scorpions won at home for the first time this season when they held on to beat Rochdale Hornets in an exhilarating match in front of their largest league crowd of the season.
The Scorpions now move above London Skolars in the league table, going up to eighth and just one point behind Welsh rivals North Wales Crusaders.
It was tit for tat for most of the game with the lead changing hand five times, but two late Scorpions tries finally sealed things despite Rochdale completing the scoring.
Scorpions could have been first on the board when Chris Vitalini was close to an early try but was stopped on the line.
Daniel Davies to Dean Gorton who scored in the corner. Paul Crook missed the kick.
Scorpions levelled on 15 minutes when Loz Wildbore set up a try for Nathan Mossop. Jamie Murphy converted.
But Rochdale took the lead again on 21 minutes when full-back Wayne English ran through in a wing-man position. Crook missed again.
Again Scorpions struck back when Nathan Mossop ran over from dummy half. Murphy goaled again to make the score 12-8.
The lead was extended further on the half hour when following a good bout of pressure, Tom Morgan fed Steve Parry who fought past the backline to dive over. Murphy's kick went wide.
Parry and Morgan linked up to feed Dalton Grant, who thought he'd scored another Scorpions try, but he was called back due to a forward pass.
But Rochdale scored on the hooter when Gorton set up Davies in the same corner that they'd scored their two previous tries. Crook missed for a third time to put the Hornets to within four at the break.
Scorpions opened second half proceedings, after defending well on their own line for a few minutes, when Neath RFC favourite Kevin James scored on his home Rugby League debut, following many tries for the rugby union on the same ground, twisting past his marker to score. Murphy missed the kick.
Again Rochdale hit back after John Cookson dived over from close range and Crook converted for the first time in the game.
Cookson went from hero to villain in seconds when he was sinbinned for a high tackle from the restart.
Scorpions tried to take advantage of the extra man but were continually thwarted by an endeavouring Hornets back-line. Dalton Grant and Kevin James were closest. Grant was a metre from scoring while James was held up over the line.
It was the Hornets who scored while they were still down to 12 men. Davies and Gorton continued with their outstanding link-up with the winger scoring in the corner once again. Crook converted.
But Scorpions struck back straight away when perennial try poacher Parry grabbed his second bursting through from close range. Murphy easily converted.
They weren't finished yet. Mossop grabbed his hat-trick with ten minutes to go and Murphy goaled again from in front of the sticks.
Parry, trying not be outdone by his team-mate, made a clean break from 40 metres out, but his marker caught him and his resulting pass was intercepted by Chris Baines.
The move almost led to a try from the next set but Gorton was denied a hat-trick, knocking on under pressure as he dived for the line.
Steve McDermott went over for a Hornets consolation with seconds remaining with Crook converting but the home side held on.
18 Jamie Murphy
8 David James
3 Tom Morgan
25 Kevin James
9 Dalton Grant
6 Loz Wildbore
1 Steven Parry
10 Greg Burke
19 Nathan Mossop
16 Joe Burke
21 Chris Vitalini
12 Geraint Davies
11 Ashley Bateman
7 Shaun Owens
4 Phil Carleton
15 Alun Wyn Davies
24 Callum Wilkinson
Tries: Mossop (15, 24, 73), Parry (30, 67), K.James (50)
Goals: Murphy 4/6
1 Wayne English
2 Dale Bloomfield
3 Daniel Davies
4 Chris Baines
5 Dean Gorton
6 Paul Crook
7 Johnny Leather
8 Joe Fitzpatrick
9 Chris Hough
10 John Cookson
11 Gary Middlehurst
15 Adam Bowman
13 Dayne Donaghue
14 Steve McDermott
12 Mark Hobson
16 Dave Newton
17 Phillip Braddish
Tries: Gorton (8, 64), English (21), Davies (40), Cookson (54), McDermott
Goals: Crook 3/6
Referee: Warren Turley
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