Tarleton RUFC - George Skofic looking to break through the Bolton line
TARLETON travelled up the M61 to meet top of the table Bolton RUFC as the second half of the season gets underway.
Last minute cry-offs and long standing injuries still continue to dog the First XV but a squad of 18 arrived to do battle.
A home defeat by 31-14 suffered in October shows how powerful a team Bolton have become and this was going to be a big ask for the Firsts to come away with anything from this game.
The first 15 minutes of the game saw both sides looking for weaknesses in each others’ defence with no success and the first chance of the day was a penalty to Tarleton that wasn’t converted. Tarleton continued to threaten the Bolton defence but they always seemed to come up with the ball in the loose and their scrum was pushing Tarleton back in the set-piece.
Bolton broke the deadlock on 30 minutes when from a line out they moved the ball wide and put several phases together but Tarleton turned them over in front of the posts. Unfortunately, the clearance kick by Tarleton was well charged down by Bolton and they scored under the posts and with the conversion took a 7-0 lead.
Tarleton and Bolton played out the rest of the game with thrust and counter thrust but found no way through well organised defences and both sides were guilty of making mistakes at crucial moments.
There was no further score in the game and Tarleton came away with a bonus point which is something not many teams will do at Bolton this season.
They face Eccles at home in the last league match of the year and this will be another big game.
The Second XV had an 8-5 victory over Rossendale away and this keeps them at the top of their league. The Seconds are also at home next week against Fleetwood and will need to win to keep the pressure on Wigan III who are their main challengers for the league at this time.