The British Pakistan Rugby League XIII produced a tremendous first half display against North Counties Police at Spotland Stadium, home to Rochdale Hornets, before going down 26-22.
In their second game, after meeting the GB Community Lions Under 18’s, the British Pakistan select were boosted by the appearance of former Bradford Bulls and now Huddersfield Giants professional Abdul Khan, along with his brother Hassan.
They led 18-6 at the break but the second half saw the Police team regroup and begin to play some exciting rugby as they slowly clawed back the score, leaving it tense until the final hooter.
The game was attended by a number of V.I.P. s, including the Deputy Lord Mayor of Rochdale Zulificar Ali, Ian Seabridge the Assistant Chief Constable of Great Manchester Police and RFL President Chris Hamilton.
Ikram Butt, manager of the British Pakistan side – and partners in the event ‘Connecting Communities’ – commented, “It was a much improved display from our last outing and we nearly came away with a victory against a very experienced Police team.”
“The game was played in good spirit and, once again, we hope that the significance of it and the opponents will get our message across of building bridges. That far out weighs the score, everyone involved in the event were winners.”
Joe Pitts, Chief Executive of Rochdale Hornets was delighted with the occasion, “It was a spectacular event which really kept the crowd on their feet. The formation of the British Pakistan team is an initiative we at Rochdale fully support and I look forward to their return visit” he commented.
Chris Hamilton added, “I was delighted to be invited and thoroughly enjoyed myself, the work that Ikram is committed to is wonderful and of great benefit to the game of Rugby League.”