Fleetwood RUFC 9 De La Salle 13: Match reaction

Scott Dobbie Picture: CLEAN SHEET MEDIA

Scott Dobbie Picture: CLEAN SHEET MEDIA

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A well organised De La Salle won the opening match of 2017 at Melbourne Avenue.

Fleetwood coach Steve Woodburn admitted the Salford side worked hard to keep their hosts tryless and secure a victory which kept them third in the North Lancs / Cumbria League.

Woodburn, who was forced to reshuffle his side after the three-week Christmas break, said: “It was always going to be a tough game against De La Salle.

“Some of the lads were away for holidays and we certainly lacked James Torkington’s running down the middle.

“Ricky Newton’s leadership was also sorely missed. Saying that, Matt Larkin came in and had a good game in a scrappy middle. All the lads who came in and those who switched positions did well.”

The visitors led 10-0 at half-time, scoring the only try of the game through full-back Sean Watson.

Fleet responded strongly after the break but were restricted to three penalties as Della defended well and continued their fine form.

Woodburn added: “They have been going well in our league, though they are a team who can be beaten if you stick to the right game-plan but that wasn’t the case today.

“We were very near, as the score line suggests, and that leaves us disappointed.

“Della defended really well and we ran sideways with the ball on too many occasions.

“A bit more directness and we would have tested them more. They deserved the win but we will regroup and be ready for two away trips.”

Mid-table Fleetwood have the chance of revenge at De La Salle in a fortnight but first visit Littleborough this Saturday.

Derick Thomas