Burn start new year with win
By David Scott
Burn started 2019 with a 19-6 victory over Anselmians.
In the end this was a comfortable enough win for Burn, while Anselmians never gave up they became less of a threat as the game progressed which saw Burn dominant much of the second half.
It was the visitors who had the early possession and they were the first to score points as they kicked a penalty on 5 minutes. Burn responded, as Leon Fifield was going for the corner he was prevented by a high tackle, this resulted in a yellow card for the Anselmians man, but no penalty try, advantage was already being played, so Burn had a penalty closer to the posts, Burn elected to take a scrum and from the back Sam Gale rode off a couple of defenders to score. Leon Fifield added the conversion. A further high tackle from Anselmians saw them reduced to 13 players. Burn then kicked to the corner, they caught and drove at the line, the initial efforts were thwarted, but then Alex Evans gathered the ball and barged his way through several defenders to score. Leon Fifield added the extra points. On 22 minutes Anselmians attempted to narrow the gap with a penalty attempt, but the kick drifted wide. The visitors continued to spend some more time in the Burn half, they were aided by Burn due to mistakes and poor decision making. On 30 minutes Anselmians had a great opportunity, they created an overlap, but were then unable to take advantage and the play broke down. This seemed to sum up Anselmians in the two matches Burn have played them this season, at times they don’t look like a side second bottom, but then they just don’t have that cutting edge to convert possession into tries. However, Anselmians did manage another penalty to make the half time score 14-6.
Burn pressured Anselmians from the start of the second half and were rewarded with a try on 48 minutes, Marc Maher made a half break, but it was Phil Baines who made the decisive break and as he drew the final defender he passed outside to Tom Burtonwood, at first he appeared to doubt he could make it to the try line, but then backed himself and he was right to do so as he just had enough to score in the corner. The conversion was missed, but the score was now 19-6. From here Burn would have hoped to push on and secure a bonus point, they did continue to dominate possession, however despite huffing and puffing, it just never happened. While they were not helped by a couple of yellow cards, mistakes were their biggest hinderance. Burn did think they had scored as Sam Gale appeared to stretch to score, but the referee adjudged it as a knock on. The game ended with Burn coming close to scoring, but the lack of precision saw the chance come to nothing and the game ended without any further score.
This was a rather rusty performance from Burn, they didn’t execute as they would have wanted. A bonus point was there for the taking and not getting it would be disappointing to them, but the primary goal should be to secure a win which they did and this saw them move up to second in the table. The game was marred by Ross Liddle sustaining a nasty leg injury in the closing moments of the game, we hope he has a speedy recovery and we wish to thank the Anselmians players who helped stretcher Ross into the physio room, we wish them all the best for the rest of the season. Next week Burn have a tough away trip to Warrington.