On a sweltering hot day, Manchester Rangers travelled to Bury Broncos ‘A’ for their first meeting of the season in the North West Mens League. Manchester went into the fixture on the back of a 5 game winning streak whilst Bury narrowly lost out in their previous game to a strong Rochdale Cobras.
Making only 1 change from the side that defeated Garswood a week earlier, Manchester were looking to build some continuity in their performance.
As the game kicked off, the Rangers got off to the best possible start. A good spell of pressure on the Bury line was capitalised upon as Josh Watson danced his way through the Bury defence, beating a number of defenders to score under the posts. Jordan Green adding the extras to make it 0 – 6.
From there the game developed into a tight contest, a stop-start approach with very slow play of the balls eliminated any chance of the open and flowing rugby you would expect to see in such good conditions. The next scoring chance came as a loose ball found its way over to the left wing and the waiting Joe Moura Da Luz. Scooping the ball up on the halfway line, Moura showed his blistering pace as he outran the Bury cover defence to score in the corner. Jordan Green this time unsuccessful with the conversion 0 – 10.
The next and last points of the first half were scored by a rallying Broncos side. After a controversial decision to award a drop out, the Rangers were immediately under pressure from the galloping Broncos. After a number of forward assaults on the Rangers line, the ball was moved out to the flanks where Bury found some space and crossed for their first try of the afternoon. An unsuccessful conversion meant that the score going into half time was 4 – 10.
HALF TIME: Bury Broncos ‘A’ 4 – 10 Manchester Rangers
The second half started as the first did, with Manchester registering the first points. After a good surge downfield, the ball was worked to the blindside to Jubril Olajide who cleverly drew a man and found Josh Dolan on a good line to score his first try of the day. Jordan Green making it 2 from 3 with the boot 4 – 16.
The second half would turn out to be all Rangers as the points mounted up against a tenacious Bury side. Nick Ryan was the next on the scoreboard after some good play between Brian Massey and Joe Moura gave the Rangers good field position. Ryan then ran the ball with vigour to bust through two Bury defenders and go under the sticks. 4 – 22
The next Manchester try was a special effort from a cleverly worked scrum play. Straight from the base the ball was worked left to Tyrone Parsonage who produced a brilliant offload to supporting Josh Watson. Despite Watson looking like he was running through treacle and having Bury defenders in contact with him for 50m of the break, he managed to hold them off for long enough to get over the line. Another successful conversion from Green gave the Rangers a 4 – 28 lead.
Further tries were added as John Souter powered his way over in an unfamiliar position on the wing and Brian Massey swooped upon a Broncos error from the scrum to extend the Rangers lead. 4 – 38.
The last try of the afternoon was a spectacular solo effort from hooker Jacob Winstanley. Off the back of a quick play of the ball, the clever hooker spotted space in behind the ruck and accelerated through the gap; as Winstanley came to the full back he produced a huge fend to plant the despairing defender firmly in the turf and race away to score the last try of the game, converted by Green.