Northwich 15

Blackburn 0

DINO Radice will ring the changes as Blackburn go in search of their first home league win when they welcome Burnage to Ramsgreave Drive on Saturday.

‘Burn have only St Benedicts and bottom club Rochdale below them in the North One West table after last weekend’s 15-0 defeat at Northwich.

“We need a win and that would give everybody a huge lift, particularly if it comes in front of our own fans,” said Burn’s Director of Rugby.

“I’m confident that we can make that happen with a couple of changes to freshen things up again.”

The coach added: “Although we had three or four opportunities to score, we made too many mistakes and paid the cost, like against Warrington a week earlier (lost 28-18).

“We have to learn and learn fast now.”

Radice did praise the contribution of Matthew Wilkinson, the former Salford Red Devils, Oldham and Halifax man, who having switched codes to join Blackburn last month, impressed on his first start.

And Radice could be boosted by the return of Wilf Whittle, Tom Lavelle and Rob Whittam against the Cheshire side who occupy seventh position after a promising start to their campaign.

“Matthew played very well, and he will be a good signing,” said Radice.

“There will be changes on Saturday, and hopefully we might have at least two of them back in the side as we need some experience in there to guide some of the young ones.”

With rain from the start to the finish and a heavy pitch, the game at Northwich was never going to be a classic and free flowing rugby was rarely seen.

However it was the home side who handled the conditions the better, they kept it simple and retained possession better than Burn and ultimately the home side deserved their victory.

After an initial foray into the Northwich half by Burn it was the home side who took control of the game although they didn’t really threaten the visitors’ line until 14 minutes.

After a series of penalties had taken Northwich into the Burn 22, from a line out they drove for the line several times,

Burn resisted their advances until the ball was spread wide and they managed to pierce Burn’s defensive line to score.

The visitors continued to be penalised and on 27 minutes Joe Shorrock was shown a yellow card which made their cause harder and Northwich soon took advantage.

From another catch and drive they pushed for a try. Again Blackburn initially resisted, but Northwich managed to rumble their way over the line. The conversion was added and they led 12-0.

As the half closed out Blackburn at least had more of the ball, but poor kicking continued and they were nearly punished as Northwich countered from their own half and made it into the Burn 22, but the ball was knocked on to leave it 12-0 at the break.

Northwich spent the opening stages of the second period in the Burn half and on 50 minutes they extended their lead through a penalty.

The tide turned slightly following this with Burn certainly having more of the ball. A charging run by Corey Logan took them to within 10 metres of the try line but as he off-loaded the play broke down as the ball was spilt forward.

While Burn continued to press they didn’t really threaten the try line. Too often the ball went to ground as they tried to force the play, while if they had just gone to ground and recycled the ball it may have served them better.

Although when they did go to ground Northwich somehow managed to come away with it. This pattern continued for the rest of the game which saw Burn unable to breach the well drilled Northwich defence, leaving them with no points for their endeavours, as the game ended with Northwich winning 15-0.