RUGBY: Tough day for Lions who face unbeaten league leaders next
Pictures by Ray Andrews
Midlands 1 East
Rugby Lions 12 West Bridgford 26
The latest visitors to Webb Ellis Road were West Bridgford who inflicted Lions heaviest defeat earlier in the season scoring forty seven points in the process, so this promised to be a tough encounter for the home side.
The first quarter was very evenly contested and the game was scoreless after 20 minutes. With the visitors attacking wide out on the right hand side, the ball was kicked into touch by a stray West boot at a ruck. Strangely a scrum was awarded to West Bridgford and their fly half strolled over unopposed for an easy try under the posts. Lions had their chances to respond, but poor execution hampered their cause. With Lions attacking, Martin Wood had the ball stripped from him on half way by the visiting number seven. He streaked for the line and looked as if he would make it until an excellent tackle by Ed Gledson stopped him in his tracks. The ball was however cleverly popped up to the supporting full back for another good try, this time the conversion was missed.
Half time score 0-12 to the visitors.
With Rugby attacking at the start of the second half, a lack of composure and failure to retain possession resulted in a hack ahead by the visitors out of their own 22. A couple of lucky bounces saw their full back run in again unopposed for a converted try.
A minute later some lovely handling by West Bridgford’s well organised backs from their own 22, led to the visiting number six strolling over for the bonus point try. Only seven minutes of the second half gone and the home supporters were beginning to fear the worst.
Lions did respond well and managed to put together some good phases of play, with the forwards driving hard. This led to a number of penalties conceded by West, and eventually their number six was shown a yellow card. The penalty was dispatched into touch, the resulting lineout was duly won and Lion’s drive proved unstoppable with Josh Lockley claiming the score.
Rugby kept the pressure on, and scrum half Kris McFedries picked up at the base of a ruck on West’s 22 and weaved his way over the try line. The referee blew up and oddly awarded a penalty to the Lions. They opted for a scrum and perhaps justice was done when Andy Morrison received a lovely inside pass from Joe Higgins to score under the posts. McFedries converted to at least make the score a little more respectable.
Things don’t get any easier for the Lions as this week they visit unbeaten league leaders Syston for a 2.15pm Kick off.