Burn fail to spark
Burn travelled away to Burnage where the teams could not be separated as the game ended 17-17.
Burn could not match some of their recent performances in this game and it nearly cost them their winning streak, in the end they managed to claw themselves level, but both teams were pushing for the win in the closing minutes which made a tense conclusion for all supporters.
Burn were forced into a change of line up even before the kick off as Leon Fifield was injured in the warm up, this forced the Ramsgreave Drive side into re-jigging the back line, this seemed to have an adverse affect on Burn’s usually reliable defence, as especially in the first half Burnage managed to breakthrough all too easily.
Burn edged into an early lead from a Phil Baines penalty. However, the lead did not last long as weaknesses quickly appeared in Burn’s defence. First a clearance kick from the Burn 22 was charged down and Burn were pressured into hacking the ball out for a 5 metre line out for Burnage, from the line out they caught and drove before releasing the ball to the backs and gaps formed in the Burn backline which Burnage were happy to utilise to score by the posts. The conversion was added and the home side led 7-3. After this, much was in the middle of the pitch, Burn just didn’t seem to have the cutting edge, they did start to spend sometime in the Burnage 22, but just weren’t creating enough space to breakthrough as the Burnage defence made it hard for them. Then a little against the run of play Burnage scored their second try on 30 minutes, the frailty in the Burn defence was evident again as it allowed the initial break from Burnage, some good interplay then finished off the chance out wide. The conversion was missed. Burnage kept the pressure on Burn, but were unable to add any further points before the break, which meant the score remained 12-3 at half time.
There was nearly a disastrous start to the second half for Burn, as from the kick off Burnage recycled the ball and then passed to their winger who scythed through the Burn defence and made it into the Burn 22, the attack then broke down, but Burn were rattled. Burnage kept the pressure on as they again cut through the Burn defence and would have scored under the posts had the final pass not gone forward. This seemed to wake Burn up and they started to spend more time in the Burnage 22 as the Burn forwards took the upper hand. The visitors were now well on top in the scrums and were receiving regular penalties eventually resulting in a Burnage prop being shown a yellow card. For the second week in a row Burn were faced with uncontested scrums, this took a major weapon away from Burn, but on 56 minutes from a penalty 5 metres out they cleverly reverted Corey Logan to the backs, from the scrum Ockert Erasmus fed the ball to Logan who crashed through the Burnage defence to score under the posts. Phil Baines added the extra points to take Burn to within 2 points of their opponents. Burn continued to have the better of the game, but Burnage’s defence limited points scoring opportunities, then on 68 minutes , against the run of play, the home side exposed the Burn defence again as they broke through tackles to score their third try. The conversion was missed, but Burnage now led 17-10. At this point Burn could have caved in, but they responded well and put real pressure on their opponents and Ben Corless thought he had scored after muscling his way over the line, but the referee adjudged he had been held up. As the game entered the last 5 minutes Burn were well on top and the scrum continued to dominate which resulted in a Burnage second row being sinned binned after consecutive penalties in the scrum. This gave Burn the numerical edge and they took advantage of this as they drove the Burnage forwards back over their own line from a 5 metre scrum allowing Corey Logan to touchdown for his second try. Phil Baines held his nerve to kick the conversion to level the scores. In the closing minutes both sides were pressing for the win, Burn got within a couple of metres of the try line, but the ball was ripped from them and Burnage broke away and made it to the Burn 22, but eventually the attack broke down and the game finished 17 all.
At the end of the game neither side seemed satisfied with the result, Burn had been in good form coming into this game and would have hoped for a win, but they were unable to match their recent level of performance, while Burnage had been ahead for much of the game and would have been disappointed to be pegged back. Burn will need to improve for next week as they welcome Douglas, who currently sit second in the table, to Ramsgreave Drive.