WITH no match this coming weekend the Northwich coaching team will no doubt be looking at how to improve discipline and the overall game management following Saturday’s 29-18 loss at Manchester.

With Paddy Douglas and Liam Batt still unavailable, Sam Naylor was pleased to welcome Andre Nell back to the fold.

However, the late withdrawal of Jack Geraghty necessitated an adjustment to the selected team.

There were several good performances with Tom Clark, Andre Nell and Austin Fernandez all making contributions.

Blacks, who are next in action at Wirral on Saturday, November 4, kick-off 2.15pm, started the brightest of the two teams.

A Tom Husbands penalty gave them the lead after four minutes.

It was all Northwich at this point and when they were awarded an attacking scrum the ever-reliable Eon Du Preez carried the ball and it was moved wide for Eli Brizendine to finish in fine style for 8-0 after 12 minutes.

As the second quarter began, Manchester responded with two converted tries in five minutes to hit the front.

With 36 minutes gone Northwich launched a superb attack and despite some desperate defence the multi-phased passage of play was finished with a Husbands try.

Deep in stoppage time Blacks conceded a penalty and from the subsequent lineout the home side drove the maul to cross the line and add another seven points to their tally.

The first 20 minutes of the second half belonged to the home team as they pinned Northwich in their own 22.

There was some heroic defending but eventually the visitors ran out of tacklers and Manchester scored a try to extend their lead to 26-13.

The visitors continued to press for parity and a scrum close to the line with 12 minutes remaining gave them the opportunity. Man-of-the-match Du Preez picked the ball from the base of the scrum and proved unstoppable from close range.

The remaining 10 minutes were frustrating with Northwich falling foul of the referee’s whistle each time they appeared to be gaining momentum.

A fourth try would have provided the much-needed bonus point but despite all the efforts it proved elusive.

Manchester wrapped up the scoring with a penalty.

Northwich (15-9, 1-8): Taylor Haugh; Tom Husbands, Boitumelo Tsatsane, Richard Dale, Eli Brizendine; Logan Mitchell, Austin Fernandez; Gabriel Sipapate, Jordan Clarke, Rory Leijdekkers, Andre Nell, Tom Clark, Aaron Collins, Sam Patterson, Eon Du Preez. Replacements: Anthony Keller, Joe Christian, Jack Owens.