After last week’s victory at Blackpool, the All Blacks faced a sterner challenge against second place Leyland Warriors where they came through with flying colours with a 20-19 triumph.
The game started with the Warriors trying to exert pressure in and around the Colne 22, and only good defensive work from the All Blacks kept them at bay until the 20th minute, when the defences were breached and Warriors got the first points on the board.
From the restart, Colne started to get a foot hold in the game and started gaining yards into the Warriors’ half.
And with half-time looming, the All Blacks attacked again from quick ruck ball, and the ball was shipped to big Brad Collins, who broke through the Warriors defences and scored his first-ever try.
The conversion was missed as Colne trailed 7-5 at the break.
At the start of the second half, Colne and Nelson started as they had finished the first half, on the attack.
Only good defensive work by the Warriors kept Colne out, and by the midway point of the second half, the two teams were testing both defences out – real end to end stuff.
A defensive clearance from the All Blacks found the arms of the Warriors stand off, who ran it back, passed it to the winger, who broke through the line and scored, with the conversion leaving the Warriors 14-5 to the good.
This seemed to spur the All Blacks on, with wave after wave of attacks on the Warriors line, which finally saw Neil Pugh smash his way through and score.
The conversion good, leaving it at 14-12.
Now it was the Warriors’ turn to have a go at the All Blacks’ line, only to have their efforts thwarted.
Colne attacked again, only to lose the ball.
The turnover saw the Warriors play fast ball out to the centre, who ran virtually unopposed to score in the corner.
The conversion was missed, making it 19-12 in the Warriors’ favour.
The All Blacks weren’t finished, and another wave of attacks saw the Warriors concede a penalty in the 22.
Colne opted to kick the penalty, and up stepped Henry Frankland.
The kick was good to pull it back to 19-15.
The game was then marred by an injury to Aaron Denton, who left the field with a rib injury. In his place came onKyle Hargreaves at scrum half.
With time running out, the All Blacks were camped deep in the Warriors’ half, and some strong play saw Ryan Sumner run at the line, only to be held up.
A quick ruck ball saw Hargreaves crash over to score, with the conversion missed.
The All Blacks were now in the lead for the first time at 20-19, which is how it finished.
The seconds are at Fleetwood thirds today, with the next first team game next week at Didsbury Toc H.