Pictures from Saturday’s 45-18 victory at Webb Ellis Road
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
Midlands 2 West (South)
Rugby Lions 45
After an indifferent few weeks Lions welcomed Silhillians of Solihull to Webb Ellis Road for a top-of-the-table clash that, with just five league games remaining would likely have some bearing on final standings come April, writes Rob Dignum.
Talk on the touchline was that the wheels were coming off; this of course could not be further from the truth. We were fortunate to win 19 on the bounce, thereafter we were outmuscled at Pinley and played poorly at Spartans; it would be fair to say that we got what we deserved in both.
Sils are a good side, they can feel somewhat aggrieved to be playing at Level 7, the lowest in their proud history, unlucky to be relegated last May; having won narrowly at theirs in October we were aware that they were a few first choice players unavailable for this one and intended to take full advantage.
Yet another fixture billed as ‘Lions pack vs their backs,’ we have heard it all before, the game kicked off in fine Spring weather, by the above reckoning therefore, this would surely suit Sils’ pacey backline.
Having gone off-piste in our last two outings, the orders were straight forward, stick to the script and all will be well.
Five minutes in and following instructions coupled with zero outlandish decisions displayed, Sam Herrington barged his way over for a 5-0 lead. Sils were quick to equalise as they squeezed in at the corner after a missed tackle in midfield.
Next up Sam Herrington was again on the scoresheet finishing impressively on the wing.
This was quickly followed up by a neat score from Adam Attenborough to give us a relatively commanding 19-5 lead with half an hour played.
At this point the game turned in favour of the away side as Lions were persistently penalised at the breakdown; akin to England v Italy, adapting to the official’s interpretation took some doing; during this time, six points to Sils leading into the break.
Half time spiel was of not incurring the wrath of the man in the middle any further and of continuing to remain on task.
This is mind, not in the script was Sils crossing next to trail, 19-18.
In weeks previous this may have cued mild hysteria; not so this week - 26 unanswered points was just what the Doctor ordered as Alex Tansley crossed three times and Stuart Lee was the beneficiary of some excellent handling for a final score of Lions 45 Silhillians 18.
Ultimately, this was a must win game; which puts we Lions four points clear at the top. Sils in second travel to unbeaten Spartans, who reside in third place three points behind Sils, something must give.
This all on the proviso of course that we can get a result at Southam, who are currently in fifth. This no mean feat in itself, a proud side with a good home record, they will be tough indeed.
Not daring to look too far in front of ourselves… our next outing a week later is Sils for the third time this season, on this occasion to compete for the Midlands Intermediate Cup Final; for the time being however, the dream remains, that said… useless cliché I know, but it is very much a case of one game at a time!