North Manchester 2nds v Manchester 3's
North Manchester 2nd team open up their 2017/18 season with a bad day at the office. In glorious sunshine, and after the obligatory “new laws” conversation from the referee, North 2’s set out on their campaign with some great attacking play, hitting up around the rucks and mauls. The visitors could not live with the straight running for the lose forwards, with Egidijus Regbiss and Paul Ashcroft being particularly effective
The visitors soaked up the attacks but inevitably succumb to the pressure when “Ashy” crashed over the whitewash to open his, and Norths account.
Straight from the re-start, the visitors pilled on the pressure and the defensive frailties of North were laid bare when the visitor’s first attack of the afternoon saw them wonder through Norths midfield to even up the scores. The home team stunned by the quick reply didn’t even get out of their daze before 2 more quick succession try’s by the visitors when North failed to clear their lines and again the inexperienced midfield were too lose in defence to leave North looking down the barrel of a smoking gun.
It’s fair to say the North has had better days with their kicking game. Sliced from the restarts, not going the 10 meters, missed conversions and the inability to reach the side line when clearing our own goal line, all added to the disappointment of the match which was not living up to its billing of an exciting “Manchester Derby”
With time running out of the 1st half, the home team dug in deep and one of the positives from the game was the pack. They provide a platform from whim Alex liley could launch his ¾ line, The visitors were just as bad in midfield as North were, missing tackles and being dog legged in defence, which allowed North’s centre’s to drive the ball up the middle of the field in a number of great runs. When the ball was finally turned over the pressure told on the visitors by knocking on which gave North another platform in the visitors 22. A great solid scrum, quick ball out and the “wee man” crossed the line to drag North back into the game, something to work with for the second half.
The second half was more of the same with both teams having nightmares in the loose play and in midfield but it was the visitors who took the advantage to assert their authority on the match. More kicking errors and a defensive slips from North allowed the visitors to go further ahead before the wee man Alex Liley added to his first half try with his second of the match. Two more try’s from North were too little too late, the much cruised defensive midfield were great in attack, making the visitors turn and defend their own line time after time and when an opportunity arose for North’s centre to break though the line, only to be stopped a meter from the white wash, Blaine Brady popped up in support to touch down in the corner. The last try was well worth the wait, a real team try. The forward provided the plat form to launch an attack, the backs pushed for the line before being stopped short of the try line,, the forwards then secured the ball and some great determined straight running from Kieran, break through a tackle or two to score under the post for the last play of the match. Final score 62-29 to Manchester.
Ref watch: - fit enough to keep up with play but was indecisive and was easily bullied into decisions. He was criticised by the assessor for failing to see offside offenses and did not fully understand or play the new ruck laws - 4/10