RUGBY PICTURES: Lions off to Olney for third league game of season

Nick Walton with the ball for Lions, with Callum Hopkin right
Nick Walton with the ball for Lions, with Callum Hopkin right

Disappointment at defeat by Old Northamptonians after opening day win against Oadby

PICTURES BY RAY ANDREWS

Ben Nuttall gets the ball away to James Wilsher-Aiken

Ben Nuttall gets the ball away to James Wilsher-Aiken

Rugby Lions travel to Olney on Saturday (September 21, ko 3pm) for their third league game of the season. Lions beat Oadby Wyggestonians 39-28 in their opening game but lost 35-14 at home to Old Northamptians last weekend. Onley have lost both their games so far, going down 46-0 to Oundle and 28-21 to Peterborough.

Midlands 1 East

Rugby Lions 14 Old Northamptonians 35

Following last week’s excellent win at Oadby Wyggestonians, Lion’s produced a strangely lethargic and disjointed performance at home to Old Northamptonians, writes Dave Rushall.

ONs stop Chris Wood, with Louis Addleton left

ONs stop Chris Wood, with Louis Addleton left

The visitors took the lead with a penalty after the Lions were penalised three times in the first two minutes. Lion’s captain Chris Wood was then harshly judged to have committed a spear tackle and was shown a yellow card. With more penalties conceded, the visitors were able to drive over for a converted try.

Worse was to follow for the home side, and following a lineout in front of the clubhouse, the visitors drove towards the try line. The progress was halted just short, but illegally it was deemed, and a penalty try was awarded with Nick Walton joining Chris Wood in the sin bin.

With half time approaching, Rugby’s pack managed to achieve some momentum and drove over from a lineout with Martin Wood claiming the try. McFedries converted to make the half time score 7-17.

Lions started the second half strongly and another storming run from Martin Wood was halted fifteen metres out. As he was falling to ground he flipped the ball up to brother Chris who just failed to take the ball for what would have been a lovely try.

Chris Dixon in Saturday's game with Old Northamptonians

Chris Dixon in Saturday's game with Old Northamptonians

Lions were well on top at this point in the game, but wrong options and poor execution, as well as strong defending by the visitors, were halting their progress. A charge down by Callum Forsyth resulted in a race for the touchdown, and he appeared to get a hand on the ball. Not for the first time, the decision went against the Lions and a 22 dropout was awarded.

When the visitors did finally get into the Lion’s half, some weak tackling allowed an easy score under the uprights to put them seventeen points ahead. Lion’s forwards were putting in some storming runs but errors at crucial times were costing them dear. Ben Nuttall appeared to drive over the line following a lineout, but the try was not awarded. From the five metre scrum in front of the clubhouse, the ball was quickly shipped left, and Louis Smith dived over in the corner. The try was ruled out however due to a foot in touch. The lineout was lost by the visitors and Ben Nuttall crashed over for a well deserved try. McFedries converted to reduce the deficit to ten points.

Back came the visitors, and a penalty was awarded in front of the posts, for what I don’t know. The kick was successfull. A poor clearance kick by the Lions, landed straight in the arms of the opposing backs, and their nifty handling, together with poor tackling led to an easy score, although the conversion attempt never got off the ground.

Callum Hopkin put in a strong run out of his own 22, and two neck high tackles went unnoticed. In the ensuing ruck, a Northamptonian’s forward swung punches at both Louis Addleton and Callum, who retaliated in kind. As is often the case in these instances, the official only sees the retaliation and Callum was shown a straight red card. The instigator escaped unpunished.

Nick Walton hands off his ONs opponent, with Callum Hopkin alongside

Nick Walton hands off his ONs opponent, with Callum Hopkin alongside

A below par performance from the Lions leaves much to work on for the next match.

Ben Nuttall with the ball for Lions, with Nick Walton behind

Ben Nuttall with the ball for Lions, with Nick Walton behind

Sam James breaks for Lions, with Louis Addleton in support

Sam James breaks for Lions, with Louis Addleton in support

ONs tackle Andy Morrison, with backs coach Phil Reed right

ONs tackle Andy Morrison, with backs coach Phil Reed right

Martin Wood on the charge in Lions' first home game of the season

Martin Wood on the charge in Lions' first home game of the season