North 2's V AK'3
It was all change at Tudor Lodge when North Manchester 2's played host to Altrincham Kersal 3's. Gone was the brilliant sunshine replaced with typical Manchester rain but more importantly gone was the defensive frailties that cost the game last week. Planning for this game was everything and meticulous team planning & details were being planned right up until kick off only to be spoiled when "AK" turned up with 11 men & 2 on the way which meant that North Manchester could only play one more man.
As soon as the game kicked off the rain started and with the first attack of the game, North pushing up the middle of the field, one of the AK players went down injured, more planning out the window as the game went to uncontested scrums.
This match was turning into a game of Rugby league which suited the heavier AK team, whose game plan seemed to be hit up around the sides and drive and with the exception of the No.10 boot, and what a boot, it kept punishing the home team time & time again when the visitors failed to break down North Manchester’s defence. That was all AK had, but it was enough to give them the first converted score. North were under the cosh but soaked up the pressure and sometime even managed an attack of their own, but the final pass was what let them down, there was no way through the AK defence until North's centre Russell powered over the line to open the home teams account, Scott Danby added the conversion to even up the scores, Both teams found the weather and conditions hard going to play attractive rugby with both team resorting to hitting up but it was the home team that had the better of the first half. Nathan Boomer went close when he was tackled but never held close to the line and scrambled towards the goal line. The visitors had not seen such a training ground play before and complained to the referee who could only scratch his head and awarded a scrum to the home team, still doesn’t make sense even now. That was the last of the action, the whistle went and the teams turned around even. Ian Mac came off the bench and the game turned. The home team still hitting up and the visitors still stopping the progression but with growing confidence the North backs started to pass the ball out of contact stretching the visitors to the side line. From the break down, Luke "Messie" Romby drove the ball deep into AK territory but got stopped at the 22 meter line, Scott Danby popped up as link man, providing a flat pass for Ian Mac to drive over the white wash to give the lead to the home side, once again the extra pints were added by the safe kicking of Scott Danby. More of the same from both team, hitting up in the mud and the rain but it was the home team that had the better ideas. The game was being closed out by the condition when Scott attacking from the centres, seen a gap behind the oncoming defence, kick and chase, a nifty bit of football and a chase to the line. The referee awarded the try only to change his mind and award a 22meter drop out. North felt hard done to but got their own back after a serious of drives the slippery ball came out to Tyron Boardman, who dropped it forward, not noticed by the ref he then kicked it onto Ian Mac who gratefully picked it up and waltz over the try line for his second score of the match. The score went unconverted. While North were thanking their lucky stars for the rub of the green and AK were cursing theirs, the roles were reversed. The ref missed and AK infringement 5 meters out from the North line and when Alex Liley took the ball over from a safety 5 meter scrum, only to have one of the AK player dive on him, the ref evened up his mistake by awarding a visitor try.
It was good to get the first win of the season on the board and even better to put last week’s game to bed. Still loads to work on but the game plan and determination are there for all to see. This game finished with no more action and a final score of 26-14. North made heavy weather of the game but the conditions also did not help