Sat 23 Jan 2016
On an important day for English rugby, Pendle Phoenix travelled to North Manchester hoping to continue their unbeaten start to the new season.
From the outset Pendle went on the attack and within a few minutes of the kick off were rewarded with the first try,after winning a scrum against the head the ball was moved out to centre field by Steve Kent and recycled out to Liam Canning who carved open the opposition defence to score in the corner. Moments later Pendle added a second score when after another scrum, quick ball was fed to Alex Woodcock who glided through the Manchester cover defence and touched down to make the score 10-0 to the visitors.
North Manchester then managed to get a foothold in the game after building pressure on Pendle and converting this pressure into points when their scrum half took a quick tap penalty and dotted down under the posts also adding the 2 points from the conversion to make it 10-7. Just before half time Phoenix got their third try after a counter attack from Rob Lawless resulted in rucked ball being passed onto Caleb White who crashed over for the try, Shaye McCullough added the extras and Pendle went into the break with the score at 17-7.
Both sides came out after half time with attacking intent but the game soon became a battle of wills with both teams going in hard at each other which led to sin binnings for both Manchester and Pendle, the next 20 minutes saw Manchester becoming increasing frustrated as their attacks were repelled time and again by a well drilled Phoenix defence. This deadlock was finally broken in the final ten minutes of the match when the ball was moved out of contact to Liam Canning with support from Nick Martin who linked up with Pendle skipper James Finucane who managed to squeezed in at the corner to finish a well worked team try and take the score out to 22-7. The final try of the day came just before the full time whistle when clean ball from the top of the lineout was moved wide to the centre and quickly turned back in for Caleb White who ran a great line to collect the pass and completely wrong foot the Manchester defenders and power over to score his
second and Pendle fifth try of the day, the final points were added by Shaye McCullough conversion to make the score 29-7 to Pendle Phoenix.