Rochdale Hornets


Whitehaven RLFC v Rochdale Hornets

Sunday 22nd April 2018, 15:00pm

Challenge Cup - Round: 5

Stats over last 8 encounters










Rochdale Hornets continue their Ladbrokes Challenge Cup campaign on Sunday, as they travel to the Recreation Ground to face League 1 outfit Whitehaven RLFC.


Alan Kilshaw’s side head to the Recreation Ground on the back of five defeats, with four of those coming at the hands of full-time opponents. Their latest outing saw them push London Broncos all the way, with their incredible defensive display in the first half proving to be their own downfall. A Ben Moores try, two goals from Harvey Livett and a field-goal from Dec Patton saw Hornets take a 9-6 lead into the break. They eventually fell to a 30-15 defeat, with Dec Kay scoring late on in the second half.

Carl Forster’s Whitehaven started the season slowly, with back-to-back defeats, before winning their next five to kick start their promotion challenge. In that run, they overcame Dewsbury Rams to book their place in the fifth round of they cup, and even clinched a dramatic two-point derby triumph over Workington Town with the last kick of the game. In their last fixture, they brushed aside Coventry Bears 44-12 at Butts Park Arena with Foster crossing for a brace of tries.


You have to go back to the 2014 season to find the last meeting of these clubs, as they went head-to-head in the Championship before Hornets were consigned to relegation. Their most recent clash was at the Recre, with the hosts romping to a 48-12 victory as current Hornet Lee Mitchell featured for Haven. Rochdale also had James Tilley in their side for that clash, with the hooker now preparing to face his former club.

Earlier in that season Hornets did manage to claim victory over Whitehaven, as they edged a close encounter at Spotland to record a 20-16 win.


Rochdale booked their place in this round of the competition with a hard fought victory over amateur outfit Normanton Knights. A double from Rob Massam was vital in the win, as Danny Yates and Dec Kay also found their way over as Hornets were on the right side of a 20-8 score line.

As mentioned earlier, Whitehaven advanced to this stage of the Challenge Cup via a giant-killing of Championship outfit Dewsbury, as Jessie Joe Parker’s double paved the way for a 25-18 triumph. In the round earlier they edged past London Skolars with a narrow 16-14 victory.


Kilshaw has made four changes to the side which faced London last week, as Matty Hadden has been named in the squad for the first time since injuring his shoulder. Gary Middlehurst and Lee Mitchell are included following their rest from the action, while Seta Tala is back in contention. Making way is Warrington Wolves trio Dec Patton, Harvey Livett and Pat Moran, along with youngster Blake Turner.

Rob Massam was named in the squad last week, but missed the game due to a slight rib injury, however he is set to return to the wing on Sunday.

Hornets 19-man squad: Dec Kay, Richard Lepori, Earl Hurst, Taylor Welch, Rob Massam, Dave Allen, Danny Yates, Lee Mitchell, Ben Moores, Luke Adamson, Toby Adamson, Gary Middlehurst, Joe Taira, Matty Hadden, Lewis Hatton, Billy Brickhill, Dec Gregory, Seta Tala, Deon Cross.

Haven 19-man squad: Carl Forster, Ellis Gilliam, Dave Thompson, Liam Cooper, James Tilley, Marc Shackley, Jason Mossop, Lewis Reece, Kris Coward, Dan Abram, Phil Lister, Jessie Joe Parker, Chris Taylor, Danny Green, Dion Aiye, Callum Phillips, Lewis Brown, Connor Holliday


Dan Abram has excelled since his move to the halves this season, and has been a key part of their success so far this campaign, as it was his boot which sealed their dramatic derby win. Jessie Joe Parker provides the strike in the centres for Haven, and with two tries in the previous stage of the competition he will be looking to build on that. Player coach Carl Forster is a name Hornets fans know well, as he helped the club to promotion back in 2013. He has taken to his dual role brilliantly, and we cause headaches up the middle.