Date published: 21 May 2012
Rochdale Cobras took a squad of mostly under 7s, with a handful of under 8s, to Salford Reds u8s curtain raiser tournament, the first to be staged at their new stadium.
With a squad of players that had never played together before the Cobras party were hopeful with the talent in the squad. However, with such able opposition success wasn’t expected.
First up in the tournament for the Cobras were Cadishead Rhinos. The Rhinos shocked Cobras with an early try, after which the team woke up and scored 4 unanswered tries. Rochdale’s strong uncompromising defence with Kristian McDaid’s electric pace was just too much for Cadishead.
Next up were an Eccles side that had some big athletic players. Going into the game the Cobras were to get bodies into the tackle and slow the big side down, using their pace to find gaps. That went out of the window with Eccles first drive, George Hough rushing in to pull off what was without a doubt the tackle of the tournament. That seemed to set the tone for the rest of the game with Cobras resilience proving the difference in a game they won 4-2.
This brought Cobras to a semi-final with Oldham St Anne's, who again were a much bigger side. Cobras now had plenty of self-confidence going into the game, the winners of which would advance to a final in front of the Salford v Bradford Super League crowd. The Cobras brought their game together against the Oldham St Anne's team, working for each other in every aspect of their play. In a too and fro game the Cobras defence won the game, with a final score of 4-2.
Progressing to the final with Eccles in front of 7000 people, the Cobras team showed no nerves, just excitement whilst waiting for half time in the Super League game and their opportunity. When game time arrived the Cobras continued as they had been performing, with well organised defence and exciting attack.
Harry Smith and Owen Webster were exceptionally brave with the ball, taking it straight and hard to the Eccles defence, making the gaps for Kristian McDaid and George Hough to take advantage of.
In the end and after a fantastic performance from every one of the Cobras, the Rochdale team earned a 4-1 win and the tournament top spot.
A club spokesman said: "For the whole team, but in particular the under 7s players, for whom this was only their second game together, the experience should prove invaluable in their development. The whole club is proud of the mini Cobras and excited to see what they are capable of in the next few years."
Rochdale Cobras squad: Oliver (captain), Harry Smith, Joe Howard, Ruben Warburton, Callum Isum, Lewis Hough, George Hough, Reece Kingsley, Kristian McDaid, Owen Webster.
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