All Blacks earn first home victory in some style

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COLNE hosted Clitheroe on Saturday in their first home match of the season, and comfortably won the derby.

With the weather staying fine but cool, Colne were hoping to entertain the capacity crowd with their open, expansive running rugby.

The All Blacks started off on top form and, after last week’s defeat, looked like a different team.

They moved their way downfield into a scoring position, but a penalty miss from in front of the posts gave Colne an extra edge.

They now started play some rugby, and the back line of Gavin Spencer and Andrew Grinrod started to find space in the opposition backs.

Some elusive running from Matty Tindall brought Colne into opposition territory, and constant pressure forced mistakes, leading to a penalty which was put just wide by Tindall.

The home team now knew that if they kept the ball alive and moved it around in the backs they could win this game.

Colne’s backs used a move they had worked hard on the training ground, and it worked like a charm, putting Tindall in space for an easy score.

Colne kept applying pressure and the opposition were hardly able to get out of their own half. A lineout saw Luke Edwards steal Clitheroe ball and Callum Kinnane dummy his oposite man and cruise over to score.

With the first half coming to a close, Colne went on one more attack following a scrum won against the head.

Number eight Edwards picked up and drove straight at the Clitheroe standoff, and with quick ruck ball and a clever flick pass back inside from Callum Kinnane, Tindall scored under the posts with the conversion added.

From the kick-off, a great catch from Mark Britcliffe and fast hands through the backs had Clitheroe stood under the posts again when Jordan Sunderland added another just on half-time.

From the restart the slight breeze was now in Colne’s face. They started as they finished the first half by applying pressure on the opposition, forcing them to kick or to drop the ball.

With the forwards dominating the line outs and scrums, it was a matter of time before they wore down the opposition.

Edwards and Adam Davies were taking all of Colne’s line out ball and disrupting the opposition’s.

Clitheroe were finding it hard to get any momentum, and the power of Jason Wade and Adam Padgett in the scrum gave them no respite.

Then a poor kick by the opposition scrum half was gathered by new centre Spencer, who dummied then placed a clever pass and saw the ball moved down the backs line, and Grinrod came in at pace to draw the last man and release Tindall to score a superb try in the corner.

With Colne now on the front foot it was time to make a change, with blindside flanker Howard Wick making way for Nathan Singleton.

Colne now started to use Nathan’s considerable size to bash their way past the visitors, which was starting to work.

With Aaron Denton using his experience, he was able to move the forwards to where they should be. The next score came from a line out on Clitheroe’s 22-metre line. Davies leapt up to pluck the ball out of the opposition’s hands, and a well controlled maul saw Colne’s forwards work their way towards the try line.

Padgett had the first attempt to get the ball down, but was inches short, then the ever-present Alex Wood picked up and almost got the ball down to score.

Colne did not panic and moved the ball away from the forwards, which produced a gap for Colne to slip through to score.

With only minutes remaining, Colne started another attack, with good running from Mark Britcliffe and support from Singleton, who pinched the ball off a Clitheroe maul, and Colne set up their own maul in the opposition half.

And as they drove closer to the try line, quick hands from the backs saw Tindall score again, and Colne celebrated their first home win.

FINAL SCORE: Colne and Nelson 38, Clitheroe 6

Colne made the short journey to local rivals Burnley and came away with a loss.

Colne started the better, and good runs from Ashley Grant,Simon Hoyle and Jayden Jones saw the All Blacks win a penalty just inside the the Burnley 22-metre line.

Colne elected to kick at goal, but Dave Marshall sent his effort just wide.

This sparked Burnley into action, and their big forwards started to take control with a few runs at the Colne line, only to be thwarted by some excellent defensive work.

Something had to give, and Colne, under pressure, let in a try scored by wing forward Ashley Hancock, who kicked the conversion as Burnley led at half-time 7-0.

The second half saw Colne attack at every opportunity only to be stopped short of the line, and a silly mistake in the Colne 22 saw Burnley awarded a penalty.

The quick-thinking stand off took a quick tap and scorde in the corner for a final score of 12-0.

This was a very good performance from Colne, but the one stand out player was David Marshall.

Burnley 3rds 12, Colne and Nelson 2nds 0