WHEN Martin Poste has talked, his players have been listening.

The director of rugby at Moss Farm asked Blacks to make home advantage count during a run of three successive games on their own pitch during September.

They responded in exactly the way he wanted.

Northwich have not had a full complement available yet, so to have an unblemished record after the season’s first fortnight is reason to be optimistic.

While still working towards their free-flowing best, they have been sturdy as ever in defence.

A breakthrough arrived inside five minutes on Saturday, when new recruit Will du Randt – standing in for Richard Dale in the backs division – touched down out wide following a fine interchange between Robin Houghton, Joel Barber and returning captain Chris Dale.

James Underhill kicked a penalty to increase their lead, to which Rochdale replied with a three-pointer of their own.

A second followed after Sam Naylor had been shown a yellow card for preventing the ball’s release, only for Underhill to punish the visitors for the same offence shortly afterwards.

Northwich started the second half in sprightly fashion, adding to their points total when Dale sprinted 30 metres to the line after receiving Matthew Poste’s neat pass.

A third try arrived after Poste took a quick tap to start a move that ended with Chris James claiming an impressive solo score.

Underhill kicked the extras.

And a bonus point was in the bag before an hour was up; Naylor’s charge, supported by James, led to a Rochdale defender hacking the ball at the breakdown.

He succeeded only in setup up replacement Kyle Lindsay, making his first appearance since a summer switch, to dot down between the posts.

Underhill added a conversion to make it 30-6.

To their credit Rochdale rallied, notching a converted try after recycling possession through a number of phases following a lineout.

Buoyed, they applied further pressure.

But Blacks were in no mood to slip up, protecting their advantage despite two players spending time in the sin-bin.

They will need to show similar commitment when Warrington visit next Saturday, kick off 3pm.

Northwich | Phillips, James, Maddocks, Farley, Dudley, Heywood, Naylor, Chris Dale, Poste, Underhill, Skinkis, Reilly, Du Randt, Houghton, Barber Replacements Lindsay, Vaughan, Collins Tries Du Randt, Chris Dale, James, Lindsay Cons Underhill (2) Pens Underhill (2)

Additional reporting by Steve Wood