Manchester Rangers registered back to back wins for the first time in 2016 when they made the long trip North to take on Leyland Warriors.
Leyland Warriors were the clear favourites heading into this fixture, sitting third in North West Mens League Division 2 and in a great run of form. Manchester Rangers had picked some form up after a disastrous start to the season and a win two weeks prior against Leigh East had lifted them to ninth spot.
The game started as most Rugby League games do with a ferocious battle up the middle of the pitch. Both sides looked up for the game with charging runs and solid defence on display, negating each others efforts to move forward. It took until 20 minutes into the game before the deadlock was finally broken, through Danny Knight crashing over. Charging onto the ball from deep, Knight took a good long pass from Ben Marsden and was too strong for the Leyland defence. Green adding the extras to give the visitors a six point lead.
It was Rangers on the offence once again as they started to take a grip and control the game. A set play which had been practiced time and time again in the weeks training prior was executed beautifully to pay dividends. Ricky Ward, deputising at Stand Off, produced a silky draw and give to put Rubin Holland through a half gap. Just collared by the Leyland defence, Holland got an arm free and offloaded to the supporting Taylor who took the ball downfield. Brought down just short, Tyrone Parsonage followed up on the next play to slice through the Warriors defence and further extend Rangers lead. Green successful with the conversion.
Ben Marsden turned from provider to scorer for the next Rangers try. Spotting a scattered defence on Leyland’s line, Marsden surged forward from dummy half and powered his way over to give Manchester a commanding lead. Green again good with the boot giving Rangers an 18 point cushion.
Despite the uphill struggle Leyland faced, they showed great character in continuously throwing wave after wave at a resolute Rangers defence. Deservedly, Leyland were the next to score following an outstanding kick return from their ever threatening full back. A scattered Manchester line struggled to re form and Leyland chose the right pass to open up the path to the line. Conversion successful.
HALF TIME: Leyland Warriors 6 – 18 Manchester Rangers
The second half was underway and Rangers continued the form which had given them a strong first half lead. Marching down the field on the first set, the ball was worked wide to David Gooch who bust through the Warriors line and ran the distance the score under the sticks. Jordan Green continuing his 100% success rate with the conversions.
Shortly after, Danny Knight left the field of play with a ruptured ACL and Martin Southwell was forced off with a shoulder injury. In hot,
muggy conditions Leyland continued to ruthlessly attack the Rangers defence. Clever play from the Leyland halves saw the ball shifted from side to side, tiring out the depleted Rangers players. Leyland began to get on op for the first time in the game and went about converting the upper hand into points.
After outstanding cover defence from Phil Conroy, Leyland produced a pin point cross field kick to unlock the Rangers defence. The ball spilled by the Rangers cover and pounced on by the Warriors winger to drag his team back into the game. The conversion was missed and Rangers held a 14 point lead with just 15 minutes to go.
The last period belonged to Leyland as they tried anything they could to take points from the game. Frantic defence gave Leyland the opportunity to attack and make in roads into the Rangers half. With just 7 minutes to go, Warriors crossed for another try and rallied the home support behind them. With a successful conversion Manchester now held a slender 8 point lead. Rangers got back to the defence which had previously seen them scupper any of Leylands threats and held out for the remainder of the game with no further score.
FULL TIME: Leyland Warriors 16 – 24 Manchester Rangers
Manchester Rangers: 24
Tries: Knight, Parsonage, Marsden, Gooch.
Goals: Green (4 from 4)
Man of the Match: David Gooch
Manchester Rangers Squad: 1. Phil Conroy, 2. Tyrone Chipchase, 3. Martin Southwell, 4. Andy Taylor, 5. Joe Moura Da Luz, 6. Ricky Ward, 7. Jordan Green, 8. Danny Knight, 9. Josh Hill, 10. Carl Leach, 11. David Gooch, 12. Tyrone Parsonage, 13. Ben Marsden, 14. Rubin Holland, 15. Joe Regan, 16. Joe Collins, 17. Dougie Saya
|18th June 2016||2:30 pm||North West Mens League Division 2||2016|
|Malt Kiln Fold|
|3||Private: Ben Marsden||Hooker||1||1||0||0||0|
|10||Private: Danny Knight||Prop||1||1||0||0||0|
|16||Joe Moura Da Luz||Wing||1||0||0||0||0|
|17||Private: Joe Regan||Prop||1||0||0||0||0|
|18||Jordan Green||Scrum Half||1||0||4||0||0|