RUGBY LIONS: Final warm-up with Market Bosworth

Second row Sam Herrington in last week's memorial game for Rob Walton
Second row Sam Herrington in last week's memorial game for Rob Walton

Wonderfully infectious atmosphere and feel good factor all throughout the club

Pre-season warm-up

Rugby Lions v

Market Bosworth

Next up in Lions pre-season preparation was the turn of old friends Market Bosworth RFC to visit Webb Ellis Road.

Shorn of a few regular first teamers, we are grateful to two good friends of mine, Bosworth’s Director of Rugby Rob Harding and Player Coach Ben Ashfield for fulfilling the fixture.

Having made a very positive start the following week against Birmingham & Solihull we were keen to build on this impetus and put on a decent showing to cement all the good work completed in just a dozen sessions together, writes Player Coach Rob Dignum.

Bosworth are always big up front and competitive across the park, third in Midlands 2 North last season, having played them many times personally and living just a stones throw from their Cadeby Lane home; like Aggy last week, I was feeling under the cosh somewhat!

Making happy reporting, however, Lions were simply too strong for Bosworth who endured a fairly tough afternoon all over the field.

None tougher than former teammate of mine, Ben who is ordinarily a Number 8; seeing him play loose and tight head against Dav Nurse and Aiden Parkinson respectively, who each produced a strong showing was a sight to behold, I did not know bodies could be twisted into such shapes!

Playing four 20 minute periods, Lions were able to give 26 players a run out, the usual mixed bag of old and young, experienced and new to the game, all putting in a great shift to leave Head Coach Aggy purring with delight.

Lions opened the scoring on two minutes with a well worked try and did not look back from there.

The 26-0 scoreline at the end of the first quarter was bought about by good direct running from the forwards, off loading at will and good finishing out wide by the speedsters. 40-0 at the half way point and things were going a little too easily in the favour of the home side.

A culmination of Bosworth commendably upping their game, some generous officiating and Lions tinkering about with several combinations, including four guys having a spell at fly half, none a ten by their own admission did halt any real progress in the third quarter, with the score board untroubled the full 20 minutes.

Happily, however, a big crescendo finish saw Lions cross for a further four scores in the final ten minutes of the encounter to run out emphatic 60-0 winners.

Perhaps a little harsh on the players, but progress was only halted when we deviated from the game plan.

The game became so fractured it was easy to seek strange options and throw 30m passes, the proof being, we did not score during this period.

There were again countless positives to take from the game so early in pre season, I know Aggy will kill me for saying it but 21-stone second row Sam Herrington’s chip, chase and celebration will live long in my mind!

Seriously, the work of every single member of the pack was fairly awe-inspiring, I know I’m biased, but I would not want to play against our 1-8!

New arrival Dan Ford, a good player in any position behind the scrum continues to impress at 13 and my last mention, Dave Bunting. Dave I have reported on many times before, having been his PE Teacher for five years.

By his own admission, he is a bundle of nerves each time he takes the field… why? I will never know!

What a performance once again as in every time he has played first team rugby, a brilliantly taken hat-trick on the wing, leaving players often times his experience green with envy at the pace and ability he possesses…

Lions take a break from playing for a short while having learnt a lot about ourselves in two showings.

This we will take back with us to the training field and put in the hard yakka that I have absolutely no doubt will provide the foundation for a positive 2016-17 and seasons beyond.

Alex Tansley is in charge of a team jolly over the next fortnight and has planned a trip to Rutland Aqua Park, a lake with a load of giant inflatables, slides and diving boards… what could possibly go wrong?!

Thereafter we line up against Bedworth RFC on September 3 in the first round of the County Cup before first league opponents Earlsdon RFC the following week, both home games kicking off at 3pm.

I often don my rose tinted glasses and various trips down memory lane as I frantically scribble down all Lions goings on.

My first two seasons at Lions were bliss, the third not so. 2016-17 however is going to be the one, with a new ethos quickly being forged; hard working, good people all with a great team spirit that is bringing about a wonderfully infectious atmosphere and feel good factor all across the club, long may it continue.