Wirral 1 - Rochdale 11
By Lee Vickers
Wirral soundly beaten by classy Rochdale
Despite heavy rainfall the previous evening, conditions were good for Wirral hosting visitors Rochdale at the Memorial Ground.
The game started briskly, with the teams looking evenly matched for the first 10 minutes. The Lancashire men were first to score, but this was followed soon after with a try by Leon for Wirral. Rochdale quickly responded with a second.
Wirral hoped this tit-for-tat would continue, but is was not to be - Rochdale accelerated from this point onward, and Wirral were unable to find their pace.
Fly-half Kai suffered an ankle injury on 9 minutes, with Dylan coming off the bench as a replacement. Jack A suffered a shin injury on 15 minutes, being replaced by Jack L. On 17 minutes, hooker Ioan was injured after successfully turning over the ball at the breakdown - following a reshuffle in the pack, he was replaced by Matt.
The first third ended 1-5.
The second third saw Rochdale score a further 3 unanswered tries. Wirral attempted to alter course with personnel changes; Dom for Ben, Ethan R for Will, James L for Charlie. But a static, flat back line continued to cost Wirral in the face of the onrushing visitors.
The second third ended 1-8.
Wing Ethan J replaced Harvey for the final third - and showed no fear in tackling the largest player on the pitch. But another three unanswered tries from last years Lancashire finalists sealed the fate of the Wirralians.
The Rochdalians moved the ball at pace, ran from deep and were quick up in defence. Wirral, in contrast were flat and static - despite gargantuan physical efforts from every squad player.
Rochdale have only lost one game so far this season - and this match provided Wirral with plenty of material to take back to the training ground.
Final score: Wirral 1 - Rochdale 11
Scorers for Wirral: Leon
Wirral U13: 1. Will, 2. Ioan, 3. Tyler, 4. Charlie, 5. Jack A, 8. Alex, 9. Ben, 10. Kai, 11. Harvey, 12. Starkers, 13. Leon, 14. Vinny, 15. Luke N
(Dom, Dylan, Ethan J, Ethan R, Jack L, Matt, James L)