REPORT: Widnes Tigers v Manchester Rangers

Manchester Rangers toppled Widnes Tigers after a disastrous start to move into second position in NWML Division 2


Mitch Dempsey after riding above the Widnes defence

In a game billed as a promotion battle, Rangers and Tigers knew that they would have to produce something special in order to take the points from this game and that’s exactly what the Manchester side did.

A terrible start to the game saw the Widnes home side run in four unanswered tries as Rangers struggled to gain any foothold in the game earlier on. With 3 successful conversions the Tigers amassed a huge 22 point lead which didn’t look to be turning round any time soon with an excellent kicking game and clinical attack pinning the Rangers back time and time again.

A solitary Rangers try towards the end of the first half provided a slight glimpse of light for the visitors that there may be a way back into the game. A pinpoint cross field kick from the ever reliable Ben Steele was brilliantly collected by the flying Mitch Dempsey as he out jumped his opposite number and took a difficult catch to register Rangers first points of the afternoon. Green unable to add the extras.

HALF TIME: Widnes Tigers 22 – 4 Manchester Rangers


The game really didn’t seem to be going the Manchester sides way as they failed to achieve their half time goal of scoring first in the second. Tom Duggan of the

Tyrone Parsonage scores on his return to action

Tigers slicing through after a shift to their right edge and further extending their lead over the Rangers to 26 points to 4, with understandable calls of ‘that’s the game’ from the Widnes side line.

However, Rangers have shown over recent weeks the ability to grind a game out and pick up close encounter wins and that experience would prove vital as the game wore on. A sudden surge of form for the Manchester side saw them catapult back into the game and provide the game many had expected at the outset. Tries from George Edge, David Gooch and Jack McCarthy brought Rangers within touching distance before Max Horsfall levelled the scores following a powerful run.

Rangers then took the lead with a try celebrated by all, Tyrone Parsonage scoring on his return to the game after nearly 12 months out following a 7 second heart stoppage in 2017. The utility player showing no rust at all a he linked with Ben Steele and rounded two Widnes players to score a popular try amongst the Rangers ranks. Green unable to add the extras but Rangers had a 4 point lead for the first time in the game.

The Rangers lead was short lived as Widnes showed their class on the edge, cutting through the Manchester defence like butter to re take a slender 2 point lead. But the close game experience Manchester have built up paid dividends as a miraculous try from Ben Steele diving in the corner following a Max Horsfall charge down and Tyrone Chipchase showing his speed from a Josh Hill break gave the Rangers a hard fought two points.

FULL TIME: Widnes Tigers 32 – 42 Manchester Rangers


Manchester Rangers: 42

Tries: Dempsey, Edge, Gooch, Horsfall, McCarthy, Parsonage, Steele, Chipchase.

Goals: Green (5 from 8)


Manchester Rangers Squad:

  1. Tyrone Chipchase, 2. Mitch Dempsey, 3. Chris Bamber, 4. Josh Dolan, 5. George Edge, 6. Ben Steele, 7. Jordan Green, 8. Nick Ryan, 9. Josh Ogden, 10. Jack McCarthy, 11. David Gooch, 12. Max Horsfall, 13. Josh Hill, 14. Tyrone Parsonage, 15. Allan Khonje, 16. Adam Lacey, 17. Steve Jones