In what was billed as a 'double pointer' away to relegation threatened Burnage, Firwood Waterloo did themselves a power of good with a bonus point nine try win in what might prove to be their most crucial game of the season.

"We went expecting a real hard battle and we were not disappointed," confessed head coach Stuart Turner. "With a total of fifteen tries this was good entertainment but every try was hard fought and we came off the field knowing we had done a solid job."

"We now have some momentum as we go into the last four games of the season and although we are still far from safe we are in a much better position than we where a week ago," he added.

Firwood Waterloo were first on the score sheet, a robust run from Kurt Riley proved unstoppable as the loose head crashed over. Darragh O'Brien slotted the conversion and with the ball kept tight before spinning it wide a great off load by Ross Green opened the way for Lee Ferrier to coast in for a second.

However three converted tries from Burnage gave them a 21-12 lead.

This reversal appeared to spur the visitors on with a ball out wide creating the opportunity for Jacob Allen to narrow the deficit before Laurence Jenkins went through on the inside, O'Brien slotting the conversion to restore the Merseyside advantage and take the bonus point at 21-24

This was a lead Firwood Waterloo were not going to allow to slip as Alex Tenev forced his way over and from a quick tap penalty Luke Clifford went in close to the posts for the sixth, O'Brien again on hand with the conversion.

Tenev went in for a second time, showing some good footwork at pace, O'Brien's conversion putting the visitors 21-43 ahead.

However, yet again Burnage came back with two tries and a conversion to give them a chance at 33-43 but with Josh Critchley notching up the eighth  off turn over ball and Tom Lavell finding space to cross for a ninth both converted by O'Brien put the result in the bag, despite a further try from the home side.

"We had trained well during the week and although any visit to Burnage on their synthetic pitch is always thwart with problems we had a game plan and full credit to all the players they stuck to it," Turner explained. "We knew that Burnage were going to throw the ball around as that is their style on that surface but we were ready for that and in the end we probably beat them at their own game."

Firwood Waterloo now have a week's respite before returning at home to second place Blackburn.

"It does not get any easier as after Blackburn we play Stockport away before we take on league leaders Carlisle at Blundellsands ," Turner  stated. "Our final game is away at Manchester."

"We need some points from the top two but Stockport and Manchester will be crucial as at the moment we are separated by just two points."


Geoff Lightfoot    

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