RUGBY: Rugby Welsh

Rugby Welsh v Lions at Alwyn Road (picture by Ray Andrews)
Rugby Welsh v Lions at Alwyn Road (picture by Ray Andrews)
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Proud of performance against unbeaten league champions

Midlands 5 West (South)

Rugby Welsh 7

Rugby Lions 41

For the second time this season Welsh can be proud of their performance against unbeaten league champions Rugby Lions. In front of the largest crowd seen at Alwyn Road in many years Welsh had the benefit of the blustery conditions in the first half and dominated the opening 20 minutes.

The Welsh forwards more than matched their local rivals and put together a series of powerful forward drives. Second row forwards Roche and Beecham competed well at the lineout whilst prop Chris King carried the ball effectively to setup further attacking options. To Lions credit their defence was excellent but eventually Welsh took a deserved lead when centre Jason Reynolds ran an excellent line and crashed over in in the corner for a try, well converted by Angus Wilson.

Slowly Lions began to win more ball but the Welsh defence was excellent, with James Buckland marshalling the midfield defence and making numerous tackles. Lions obviously wanted to move the ball out wide but wingers Anthony Reynolds and Leigh Colledge both pulled off try saving tackles. Lions reduced the gap with a try from their scrum half and cruelly for Welsh took the lead with the final move of the first half.

An early second half converted try increased Lions lead but Welsh refused to let their opponents take complete control and were only 19-7 down after an hour. The forwards continued to match their opponents and Lions were not able to use their back line as they would have wished until late in the game. Welsh were unfortunate to concede numerous penalty decisions in the second half and were hampered in the last quarter by injuries to Buckland and Bond.

Lions extra fitness and pace finally began to tell, but despite further scores, two tries coming in the last five minutes, Welsh can hold their heads up high and gives further encouragement for the club’s future.

Progress has undoubtedly been made this with many players showing a huge improvement in their playing skills and hopefully narrow defeats can be turned into victories next season.

Good luck to the Lions at Twickenham and a reminder of the Welsh Club Dinner Saturday, May 17 at Hillmorton Manor.