Early mistakes from Mancunians meant that they had to fight their way back into the game from being 0-10 down after fifteen minutes, but once the early nerves from debutants had been conquered and Captain Ben Remington had given his charges a talking to, it was business as usual and Manchester were dominant and cruised to a comfortable win.
It was Remington himself who opened the account for Mancunians after 14 minutes when he skipped past his opponent and broke the defence. Chris Fox converted and he was asked to add two more points after former London Skolar Saqib Murtza ran on the angle confusing the defender to narrow the gap.
But the play of the half was from Jesse Fay. With play moving to the left edge, he noticed that The Tigers were short on the right. He stepped off his left and quickly shifted the ball to the right finding Saqib Murtza who headed up a three on one and shipped a cut-out pass to Clement Andreau who dived over in the corner. Fox Converted bringing the scores level.
It was Kahn Fay, brother of influential Jesse who helped to create the next play. Taking the ball on the second tackle on the 40m line, he bumped off one defender and dew the next to the left, making space for brother Jesse to collect and canter 30 metres with Saqib Murtza in support. Faye drew the fullback with ease to allow veteran Murtza to collect his second try of the day. Fox Converted nosing Manchester in front by six points at the break.
When Captain Ben Remington took a well judged interception immediately after half-time and ran the length of the field to score it appeared to be the start of one way traffic for Mancunians.
But with confidence running high, Mancunians made some crucial errors which gave the Tigers a glimmer of hope. A dropped pass allowed them to cross for a confidence boosting try, and a loose carry in the Tigers half gifted them another, bringing them within two scores of Mancunians and with the Tigers running down the slope, they sniffed a revival.
However, Remington, Murtza, Jesse Fay, Anton Andreau and Raul Sutcliffe combined for a stunning try in the final minutes of the game. With the Tigers defence tiring, Remington drew his opponent from the ruck with dual code Pakistani International Murtza in support. Murtza gave a well-timed reverse pass to Jesse Fay who skipped over a defender to create a two on one on the left. Andreau stepped round three players narrowly avoiding the touchline and Raoul Sutcliffe was in support to make up for his earlier blushes. Fox converted again to make the final score 22 points to 40 which sees Mancunians’ unbeaten run stretched to five games this year.
“We’re playing with a a lot of confidence this year and we are becoming a very difficult side to play against.” Said Player Manager, Saqib Murtza”. “I’m concerned by the way that we let them into the game in the first few minutes, but the confidence that we have allowed us to regroup and play the game that we know we can”. Said the former Batley Bulldog and London Skolar.
Murtza rued the fact that Mancunians were missing a few players through injury but praised the players who had stepped up to replace them. “It just shows what depth of talent we are attracting to the club. People like to play in a winning team and the players that made their debut today have joined exactly that. They are going to have to learn the words to our victory song very quickly”. He joked. “But, seriously the players who made their debut today showed a lot of character. We made a few mistakes early on that were down to inexperience, rather than poor skill and they learnt from that and finished strongly. That gives me a lot of encouragement”.
“We have another tough game next week against Littleborough and we are very much looking forward to that. We had some good games against them last year and we are expecting a physical encounter. As always, we have a few issues to sort out in training this week and we’ve got even more injuries after today but it should be a good game” He said.