EVEN at this stage of his career Martin Poste confesses he can still be surprised.

And his verdict on Northwich’s defensive discipline during a remarkable 14-7 victory at Douglas last weekend hasn’t changed from an emotional one delivered after the final whistle.

“Our shoulders were broad but our hearts were bigger,” said Blacks’ director of rugby.

“They spent most of the second-half inside our 22 and a fair chunk of that on our five-metre line.

“There wasn’t a lot of hope inside me, but I can tell you I’ve rarely ever seen a side of mine hold out like that under relentless pressure.”

READ > Douglas 7-14 Northwich: match report

Douglas, beaten only once at their home on Isle of Man in 2018, had won all six of their previous games there this season in North One West.

And yet they were shut out after the interval, much to the frustration of a large crowd.

The visitors’ triumph is made more remarkable by the fact that a delayed flight led to them arriving late and with less than half-an-hour to prepare for a deferred kick-off.

Post said: “Maybe that focused minds, I don’t know.

“But you call on the experience you have in those situations to make the best of it.

“We had less time to warm-up and an indication of that is we perhaps switched off for their try.

“Douglas are a good side, a proud one too, and we needed every one of our 18 men to make a contribution.

“They’ll wonder how they didn’t score – that’s how I’d feel if I was their coach – and yet the stamina and resilience of our pack kept sending them back.

“It genuinely was a privilege to watch.”

A sixth successive win for Blacks is their most impressive to date and leaves them a single point adrift of a promotion play-off place ahead of a meeting with Broughton Park at Moss Farm on Saturday, kick-off 2.15pm.

They will host fast-improving opponents who have recovered from a sluggish start to prevail in five of their past six games.

Poste said: “We won’t take them lightly, and their recent run of results commands our respect.

“I said our game [at Douglas] was a free hit and so a win there is in many ways a bonus.

“However if we slip up in our next home game then we won’t have made the most of it.”

He has back-row forward Martin Balshaw available again after suspension but prop Ben Ridgway (knee) is ruled out by injury.

Chris Bradshaw will continue to deputise.