Powerful 'Burn display sees off a strong Burnley challenge
Solid team performance, good preparation for Cup fixtures on the horizon
Burnley kindly gave us this fixture instead of the scheduled Wigan game, and they were keen to find out just how good they were after a close game at the end of last season, along with some lacklustre fixtures so far this season. The first 10 minutes was a really good arm wrestle, with Burnley dominating the rucks, with some great counter rucking causing the Calum a real headache, allowing him no time to settle and set. The slow ball and resulting indecision meant too many of his feeds were kicked, with the Burnley back 3 dealing with this easily enough. Eventually though the Burnley defence was breached by Jacob, whose storming run saw him (just about) dot down out wide on the right. Arthur managed to punch through a similar gap, again out wide to the right, giving Tom little hope of converting. Tobi finished off the first half with a trademark barnstormer to put us under the posts and widen our advantage even further.
Half time chat was centred on the bickering and negativity which yours truly, refereeing, had had to listen to and try to abate, along with the need to be far more aggressive in the rucks in order to make the ball easier to control and to settle the back play.
The second half was a much more even affair, both sides scoring 2 tries, Arthur getting a second, but also making 2 try saving tackles on the Burnley winger who had suddenly been given some ball and some space and who had bagged 2 tries under the posts. The conversion of the second one of these was missed by the kicker only for the Burn boys to jeer the poor lad, for which they were penalised under their own posts. Fortunately for Blackburn the Burnley lads got a bit over excited by the opportunity and passed the ball forward, scrum Blackburn. Johnny H followed up the play from this to storm up the field, setting up Blackburn's final score for Jacob to seal the game. Johnny finished off a great morning with some fine defensive work, shepherding former Blackburn player Seb into touch with a meter to go.
Despite the previous paragraphs mentioning the back line to death, the real heroes today were undoubtedly the forwards. Burnley only managed their 2 tries in the last 10 minutes, and while the rucking was an issue, the lads up front were ready and able to soak up the ball lost in rucks and pressure the Burnley attack really well. Jayden had a fantastic game, and the holes he punched in the opposition defence were just huge and Jaden shaped. Michael hooked and carried well, as did Harry, while the amount of tackles put in by Ted, Lewis, Chris and Tobi were phenomenal. Our scrum, recently worked on by Richard and Mark DeBarra, looked and performed amazingly well, (newbie Kyle not looking at all out of place), providing a brilliant platform and at least 2 against the head.
So all in all just what any coach/team/supporter or analyst would want the weekend before going into the cup schedule - no injuries, a good performance and some work-ons for Wednesday night. Look forward to a great turn out before the big guns and heavy artillery come into play at Littleborough on Armistice day next Sunday.