Manchester Rangers reached the North West Mens League Grand Final at the first attempt after a 7 try routing of Rochdale Cobra’s in the Play Off Semi Final at Belle Vue Sports Village on Saturday.
The Rangers were heading in to this fixture in hot form, having emerged victorious from their previous 16 fixtures but it was the Cobras who started off the better of the two in the opening exchanges. Jacob Winstanley organising play from dummy half saw the Rangers march up the field and on 10 minutes, the Rangers hooker crossed from close range to continue his impressive try scoring haul which has now seen him score 11 tries in 11 appearances.
After a nervy start, the home side started to look like they were in control of the fixture but it was the Cobras who were next on the score sheet. Rochdale defenders putting pressure on Rangers Full Back Matt Valentine who coughed up possession in front of the sticks before the visitors pounced on the loose ball for a converted Try.
This would be the Cobras last points of the game, a further score for Manchester Ranger’s in the shape of powerful front rower Nick Ryan with Jordan Green adding the extras would see the home side in at the break with a four point advantage.
Half Time: Manchester Rangers 10 – 6 Rochdale Cobras
Manchester Rangers started the second half like a house on fire. some hard yards by Jack McCarthy and Nick Ryan saw the hoops in good field. Nick Ryan following Jacob Winstanley’s lead by burrowing over from close range for his second try of the afternoon. Jordan Green once again with the extras, 16 – 6.
Josh Dolan was the next Rangers player to cross the whitewash, a flowing move saw the ball quickly move from left to right, before David Gooch freed up Dolan who crossed for a well worked try. Green failing to convert saw the Rangers lead extended to 14 points.
Rochdale were by no means out of the fixture, and continued to attack the Rangers line, some excellent defence from Steve Molloy’s men meant that the Cobras were unable to break the Rangers strangle hold on the game and despite some enterprising play, were unable to come up with a score.
Joe Moura Da Luz had a fine performance for the Rangers, and was duly awarded Man of the Match, the Rangers wing man setting a good platform when returning an Alex West clearing kick. The next play saw Jordan Green combining with David Gooch who looked dead set to score before the second rower flicked a pass around the back of his body, Tyrone Parsonage doing well to take in the ball and dotting down on the right hand side for a converted try. 26 – 6
The Rangers were starting to look comfortable by this point, and there would be no way back for the Cobras as the home side were in a ruthless mood. David Gooch was clinical when attacking the right edge which saw the Rangers break again to put his side within metres of the Cobras try line.
Nick Ryan capped off yet another fine performance when he barged on to a short ball across the face of the Rochdale defence, the front rower showing quick feet that a Strictly Dancer would be proud of on his way over for his third try of the afternoon. Green once again good with the boot, 32 – 6 Rangers now led with 5 minutes to go on the clock.
Manchester Rangers were playing some fantastic Rugby, and Jordan Green’s pin point kick saw George Edge clear for his side’s final try of the afternoon. Green followed that with another conversion from the touchline and wrap the scoring up for the afternoon.
Full Time: Manchester Rangers 38 – 6 Rochdale Cobras
This victory came at a cost for the Manchester side, Chris Bamber was the first Rangers player to pick up an injury, the Second Rower will miss next week’s Grand Final due to ligament damage to his knee. Josh Dolan and Josh Ogden were also forced to leave the field due to injury, both now face an anxious wait ahead of next Saturday.
Steve Molloy’s Rangers will face title rivals Chester Gladiators at the Select Security Stadium, Widnes in the North West Mens League Division 4 Grand Final on Saturday 31st October. The Grand Final is certainly poised to be yet another classic between the two clubs as Chester look to complete the Treble after already securing the North West Mens League Shield and the League Leaders Shield. Manchester Rangers on the other hand are also looking to earn their first major piece of silverware after a successful inaugural season which has seen them finish the season as the form team in the competition.
Full Grand Final match information, including how you can be a part of the action will be announced in due course.
Manchester Rangers Squad
1. Valentine, 2. Edge, 3. Dolan, 4. Ward, 5. Moura Da Luz, 6. Buckley-Mayall 7. Green, 8. Ryan, 9. Winstanley, 10. McCarthy, 11. Bamber, 12. Gooch, 13. Allen
Interchanges: Parsonage, Ogden, Saya, Houston
Tries: Winstanley, Ryan (3) Dolan, Parsonage, Edge
Goals: Green (5)
Man of the Match: Joe Moura Da Luz
|24th October 2015||2:30 pm||North West Mens League Division 2||2015|
|Belle Vue Sports Village|
|5||Joe Moura Da Luz||Centre||1||0||0||0||0|
|6||Private: Kyle Buckley-Mayall||Centre||1||0||0||0||0|
|7||Jordan Green||Scrum Half||1||0||5||0||0|
|32||Jack McCarthy||Forward Utility||1||0||0||0||0|
Head Coach: Steve Molloy
Head Coach: Stuart Nuttley