Burnage 24 Bradford & Bingley 7

The old saying that it is your forwards who win you games and your backs determine by how much rang false for the Bees.

Yet again their pack had the upper hand and enough possession to have come away with a win.

However, the team returned to Wagon Lane with no points to leave them uncomfortably close to the relegation zone. In recent weeks, the Bees’ forward-orientated tactics have worked well, with victories at Percy Park and at home to Billingham.

But Burnage were prepared for this approach and defended well in the close encounters, using the boot of the excellent Ross Winney to clear their lines whenever they could wrestle possession from the Bees pack.

The visitors were not happy with a string of refereeing decisions which cost them vital territory and possession but, in truth, they still saw enough ball to have scored more than the single try from Richard Tafa after 25 minutes, which gave them a brief lead.

Richard Scull added the conversion to improve Tafa’s 12th five-pointer of the season but the lead was short-lived.

The home side added to an early Winney penalty with a converted try and a second penalty to go in at half-time 13-7 in front.

Much of the second half was a repeat of the first, with the Bees keeping to their plan of battering down the home defence and Burnage holding the line, with Winn-ey’s telling boot setting up their field position.

The same player added two more penalties in the second period and, even with the home side now holding a 12-point lead, the Bees had enough ball to have at least pulled to within seven points and earned a bonus point.

Instead it was the home side who crossed for the final score.

With 11 league fixtures remaining there is still enough time left in this season for Bees to pull clear of the drop zone and fortunately they have to host all three of the sides below them.

However, they also have to travel to the top three and a single victory on the road this season does not bode well.