Holders looking forward to chance to defend their title
RFU Midlands Junior Vase
Rugby Lions 48
Sileby Town 3
Once more unto the breach; next in Lions’ way were Sileby Vikings, visiting Webb Ellis Road in the semi-final of the Midlands Junior Vase, writes Player Coach Rob Dignum.
The furore and excitement in the build-up was colossal, such is the importance of this trophy to all at Lions, the anticipation made greater by knowing little about Sileby.
The game kicked off amidst glorious sunshine, Lions intent on starting strongly so as not to give the away side a sniff. For the first ten minutes it was all Lions, Adam Attenborough crossing on two minutes.
Frustratingly, continuity was hard to come by thereafter with penalties awarded to both sides at frequent intervals, the game not really gathering any momentum with such recurrent stoppages.
Gaz Bott converted three such penalties and Sileby managed one for a half-time score of Lions 14-3 Vikings.
The break allowed us the opportunity to tweak a few facets of our game in the hope of not hearing the official’s whistle as persistently.
The second forty saw Sileby run out of ideas and Lions cut lose, running in 34 unanswered points with some deft handling, hard running and clinical finishing.
When Lions stick to the script and function accurately, this side can at times be breathtaking. We are still very intent on finding the perfect 80-minute performance that still eludes us.
If we are to be successful in this quest we may need to talk less and do more. When we run straight, support one another and enter breakdowns aggressively to generate numerous phases this team can be irresistible. Few sides would be able to cope with such an onslaught.
That said, it was a cup semi-final and Sileby were intent on wrecking our unbeaten run. Had we been offered a 48-3 victory on Saturday morning at the breakfast table we would most certainly have taken it.
The second half saw six tries; Ciaran Wardle crossing for three, Jack Riley, Aiden Parkinson and Dave Bunting one a piece, two converted.
Ultimately this was a satisfying win as it allows us the opportunity of defending our title in the Midlands Final on March 14 and potentially bigger things beyond that.
Other positives were again those coming off the bench; Jack Riley, Aiden Parkinson, Paddy Larchet, Dave Bunting and Danny Campbell all adding energy and impetus.
Danny has recently joined us and will no doubt be one to watch, a player with all the tricks. A nine, by trade, however next comes the headache of where to play him as we now have some very good scrum halves at our disposal!
From all at Lions, we would like to thank the trio of officials, the many wonderful supporters from both sides in attendance and the Sileby players, strong on the pitch and good fun off it. I am sure they will cause many oppositions lots of problems over forthcoming seasons.
Next up for Lions this Saturday in the league is Redditch away, who have the reputation of being strong at their Bromsgrove Road home.
As ever it will be feet back on the ground and one step at a time. In the meantime 20 out of 20 and the dream goes on!