WHARFEDALE’S first visit to Clifton Park since the 90’s saw the home team win comfortably by five tries to one.

The first 25 minutes served up a good contest just edged by Wharfedale with a Ben Leacock try.

Rotherham did have some time in the Dale 22 but resolute defence kept them short of the whitewash. After 18 minutes the visitors then worked their way up the pitch and a break by Sam Gaudie was carried forward by Joe Altham who offloaded for Leacock to crash over.

Rotherham were handed a big advantage after Sam Gaudie was yellow carded and Matthew Challinor forced his way over.and Jonathan West took Rotherham into the lead with the conversion. Dale suffered a second blow when skipper George Hedgley came off the field with an injury. Rotherham used the space to create a second converted try from winger James Cooke.

The Titans third try came when Dale had 15 men on the pitch.

After 18 phases they crashed over with Challinor grabbing his second of the match.

Harry Bullough was yellow carded on 50 minutes and again Rotherham pressed home the man advantage with a Zakery Poole try.

Matthew Beasley was the third Dale player to see yellow and the same result; another Rotherham try, this time from centre Richard Hayes who added the extras.

Rotherham were able to round off the scoring with a penalty kick.

So, no away win to start the new campaign but this was a fine performance from the Green Machine. The pack worked hard against a strong veteran Rotherham eight.

And head coach, Jon Feeley, said: “I'm pleased with quite a number of aspects of our performance despite losing the game.

"If I was to explain our display in a couple of words then I would use the words brave and committed, in which was a physical match against a physically superior and more experienced side.

"I think our players deserve a great deal of credit for how they never backed down from that challenge.

"At the quarter point in the match we were 5-0 up and we repelled a number of serious Rotherham attacks and I was extremely pleased with how we dealt with them. We were looking strong at that point but we then lost our captain.

"Losing our captain, along with a sustained physical Rotherham onslaught, certainly helped to sway the game in their favour.

"Although we only went in at half-time ten points down, at that point we looked physically beaten by a strong opposition."

Feeley added: "I've got to say, I was really impressed with our bravery throughout the game and hopefully we can continue to push on."

Wharfedale travel to South Yorkshire once again this weekend to take on Sheffield Tigers and Feeley is confident his side can build on their opener.

He said: "It's another game against another physical side but I'm confident we can make forward steps."