RUGBY SLIDESHOW: Lions draw with Wolverhampton
Fair result as neither side deserved to lose
PICTURES BY RAY ANDREWS
Midlands 1 West
Wolverhampton 24 Rugby Lions 24
The latest round of league action saw Rugby Lions make the trip up the M6 to Wolverhampton, writes Dave Rushall.
The game began in bright sunshine with a strong cross-wind and Lions started well, testing the home defence from the off. Sam Herrington was putting in some storming runs, and one of these resulted in a try for Joe Higgins, converted by Dave Weston.
A rare visit into Lions’ half resulted in Stuart Lee being very harshly penalised for offside in front of the posts and the kick was successful. Following a string of penalties conceded by Wolverhampton near their try line, the ball was worked to the left and John Hemsley dived over the line near the corner flag for an unconverted try.
With time running out at the end of the first half, Lions had the put-in for a scrum five metres from their try line. Instead of clearing to touch, they decided to run the ball and were penalised at the resulting ruck. A quick tap was taken and a simple try near the posts was the outcome.
There was however, just enough time left for Lions to claim their third try, and a lovely grubber kick to the right hand corner by Joe Higgins was collected by speedy Daniel Parrington for a great try. The conversion was narrowly missed to make the half time score 10-17 to Rugby.
If Lions had the upper hand in the first period, the second half was a different story, and the home side appeared to gain the confidence to run the ball at every opportunity, aided by some weak tackling.
With Lions camped on their own line, every decision was going in favour of the home side and Parrington was shown a yellow card presumably for persistent offending. After pinching the ball from a ruck on Lions’ try line, Herrington hacked the ball forward to relieve the constant pressure.
The ball stayed infield and Adam Attenborough kicked ahead to within five metres of the home try line. Wolverhampton managed to retain the ball, but in trying to run out of defence, Lee managed to knock the ball up in the air and catch it before it hit the ground to score a simple try, totally against the run of play, to extend Lions’ lead to 14, and secure the try bonus point.
The home side responded almost immediately with a well-worked try under the posts, although Lions wasted a three-man overlap shortly after to extend their lead.
From there on it was backs to the wall for Rugby as Wolverhampton threw the kitchen sink at them. The pressure eventually told, and following another lost line-out the Lions defence was breached for another try under the posts. The conversion was made and the scores were tied. The momentum was all with home side and with 15 minutes still remaining, the omens were not good for the Lions supporters.
Yet another penalty for an off-side offence gave Wolverhampton the chance to take the lead and win the game, but the distance was too great and the kick fell short.
The final whistle sounded and the match drawn, with Lions taking three points and Wolverhampton two. A fair result as neither side deserved to lose.
Lions have a tough schedule coming up with the top three sides in the league in the next four weeks. This Saturday (4th) sees league leaders, unbeaten Bromsgrove visit Webb Ellis Road for a 2.15pm start.