RUGBY: Good performance by Rugby Lions as score flatters league leaders
This week's game a '˜must-win' as Leighton Buzzard visit
PICTURES BY RAY ANDREWS
Midlands 1 East
Kettering 34 Rugby Lions 8
Following last week’s narrow defeat by Wellingborough, Lions had a trip down the A14 to play league leaders Kettering, writes Dave Rushall.
Lions began well, dominated possession and with the breeze at their backs they pressured the home side and pinned them in their own half. Following an early penalty and lineout the ball was shipped down the line to Daniel Parrington but he was forced into touch five metres short of the try line. Lions stole the lineout, and several pick and drives were defended well by Kettering.
A lovely break and chip ahead by Dave Weston led to a chase for the ball which was just won by a home player, who carried the ball over the line for a five metre scrum. The ball was duly won, and a series of drives were just short, until Alex Tansley appeared to have crashed over the line. The referee, however, deemed the ball to be held up and gave another five metre scrum. This time the ball was hacked clear and the pressure relieved.
A rare visit into Lions’ territory, was cleared by Kris McFedries, but the kick failed to find touch. Lions were then penalised for handling on the floor, and a quick tap led to a converted try for the home side.
Lions responded well and were rewarded with penalty in front of the posts by Weston. More pressure by the Lions was thwarted by a penalty for a high tackle. Despite being the better side, Lions trailed as the half time whistle went 3-7, mainly due to a lack of penetration with all the possession they enjoyed.
Lions kicked off for the second half, and Chris Wood took the ball and streaked to the try line. The ball, however was adjudged to have been knocked forward by a team mate. A string of high tackle awards against the Lions allowed the home side to stretch their lead with a penalty in front of the posts.
With the breeze now in the home side’s favour, it was their turn to dominate territory, and a kick ahead from deep in their own half was followed up with a try after the bounce of the ball defeated the defender’s attempt to gather. Back came Rugby, and a catch and drive was executed perfectly, with Louis Addleton claiming the try. The fact that Kettering were still concerned about the result was evident by the cheers from their dugout when Weston’s attempted conversion drifted wide.
The home side were now in charge and three more tries were to follow, with the best of them a lovely cross-field chip by the fly half into the arms of the sprinting winger.
This was a good performance by Rugby and they finished the game strongly, although unable to cross the try line. Kettering deserved the victory, but the final score was very flattering for them.
Rugby need to repeat this performance on Saturday (December 1) in a must-win game against Leighton Buzzard, who are two places below them in the table. Kick off is 2.15pm at Webb Ellis Road.