Swinton Lions v Rochdale Hornets
Sunday 11th February 2018, 15:00pm
Championship - Round: 2
Stats over last 8 encounters
HORNETS' SEASON TO START AT SECOND TIME OF ASKING
Rochdale Hornets will start their 2018 Betfred Championship season at the second time of asking on Sunday, as they take the short trip to Heywood Road to face Swinton Lions.
Their round one fixture against Batley Bulldogs was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at the Crown Oil Arena.
It was frustrating for Hornets, as they were unable to kick-off their campaign with the other 10 Championship clubs at the weekend.
They will be hoping for no such disruptions this time out though, as they contest their first derby of the year against local rivals Swinton.
The last time they met, Rochdale secured their place in the second tier with a 16-8 home win in the Championship Shield.
Tries to Declan Kay and Lewis Foster, plus four goals from Danny Yates was enough for the home side to edge a tight encounter.
Eight weeks earlier Rochdale were also victorious when the Lions visited, however it was a higher scoring affair with Alan Kilshaw’s men running out 33-28 winners.
With the home side just one point ahead, Chris Atkin stepped up to kick a penalty goal which luckily struck the post and fell to a Hornets man.
Up the other end of the field Rob Massam raced over in the corner, sealing the victory for his side and gaining revenge for an Easter Monday loss away to the Lions.
On that day Atkin was the hero, winning the game with a late drop-goal in an ill-tempered affair which saw Jo Taira receive a red card.
While Hornets had the weekend off, Swinton travelled to Toulouse Olympique for their opening fixture of the new season.
The French outfit came up with a late onslaught to record a 46-14 win over Stuart Littler’s men, scoring four tries in the final 15 minutes.
There could be a familiar face on the opposition team sheet on Sunday, as former Rochdale forward Gavin Bennion has signed a one-month loan deal with Swinton.
He left the Crown Oil Arena for Super League club Salford Red Devils in the off-season, but has returned to the Championship and could feature after missing the trip to France.
Rochdale are without Dave Allen and Toby Adamson as they picked up injuries in pre-season.
Jack Johnson, Luis Johnson and Pat Moran have all been named in the squad on dual registration from Warrington Wolves.