Colne travelled down the M6 at the weekend to face Newton Le Willows, a team who have proved difficult to beat for the All Blacks in recent encounters.
With Newton always having a strong side at home, the All Blacks knew this would be a tough and physical encounter, but last week’s win put Colne in good spirits to carry on the good work.
The kick by Colne put the pack deep into the Newton half, where the home side started to work the forward to get to the halfway mark, but a mistake gave Colne the put in at the scrum.
An excellent drive from the Colne pack set the platform for the backs to gain ground, and back into the home side’s half, great ball retention at the ruck gave Colne the dominant edge to work their way forward.
It wasn’t long before the backs had room to manoeuvre and Callum Kinnane slipped in through a gap to touch down and give Colne a five-point lead.
From the restart Newton tried to gain ground, but excellent tackling from Connor Kinnane - who was having a fantastic game on his debut first team appearance - kept the home side at bay.
Rock-solid defence from the All Blacks forced errors from the home side and managed to gain possession.
A quick backs move saw another debutant Steven Peace heading for the line, but a high tackle stopped him in his tracks, resulting in a Colne penalty and Newton losing a man to the sin bin.
Colne kicked for touch and the resulting line out put the locals in a good position.
But the home side stole the ball and passed back to the 10, who spilled the ball back through his legs, and before he could turn round, Connor Kinnane was there to touch the ball down to score his first try and put Colne 10 points clear.
As the first half was winding down, Colne were still on the hunt for more points, but a greasy ball meant handling errors for the Colne backs, and a missed opportunity.
But good pressure saw Matty Tindall kick a penalty from out wide to increase the lead.
The second half had the All Blacks playing into the wind, and Newton were coming out fighting as always.
The All Blacks didn’t have enough of a cushion to let things slip, so tough defence was in order and the team responded with some great covering tackles as Newton tried hard to get some points on the board.
With both packs fighting hard for ground, it was Colne who had a slight edge as they moved into the home side’s 22 yard line, and a pass back to Aaron Denton, whose quick-thinking saw him kick an outstanding drop goal from 30 yards out to add to Colne’s tally.
In the dying minutes, Newton made good ground using their forwards and managed to get within sight of the Colne try line, and good picking and driving from the home side saw them cross over for their only points of the game.
Colne just had to run the clock down to gain the four points, and with time ticking away, they cleared their lines and gained an excellent victory.
The All Blacks are definitely a formidable force and with new players added to the first team, who have progressed from the youth development programme, they can look forward to the rest of the season.
Anybody wishing to play, either to get fit or try something new can contact Ian on 07590818341, or visit www.pitchero.com/clubs/colnenelsonrufc for details.