RUGBY: Difficult day for Lions at the league leaders

Liam Munro at Burton, with James Wilsher-Aiken in support   PICTURES BY RAY ANDREWS
Liam Munro at Burton, with James Wilsher-Aiken in support PICTURES BY RAY ANDREWS

Break from league action this weekend should help give the injured players more time to recover

PICTURES BY RAY ANDREWS

Sam James with the ball

Sam James with the ball

Midlands 1 West

Burton 42 Rugby Lions 7

Rugby Lions made the trip to Burton in what promised to be a very difficult contest for the visitors, writes Dave Rushall.

Prior to this game Burton were averaging 51 points in their home games, and Rugby were severely hampered by injury with at least seven players absent.

James Wilsher-Aiken, with John Hemsley

James Wilsher-Aiken, with John Hemsley

Prop Aiden Parkinson partnered John Hemsley in the second row, and on the wings were Dave Bunting and Logan Roberts, with Daniel Parrington switching to scrum half.

Lions were pinned in their own half in the early stages with the home backs looking dangerous with the ball in hand. A typical storming run by Alex Tansley relieved the pressure somewhat and took play into the home 22.

Good pressure from the Lions got them to within a metre from the line until the ball was stripped and the danger cleared. Burton were first to trouble the scorers with a penalty from in front of the posts.

Rugby had the chance to respond with a penalty of their own, but the kick by Carl Strickland struck the upright. Burton were first to cross the whitewash following a line-out in the right hand corner.

Demo Gonsalves on the charge in Saturday's game

Demo Gonsalves on the charge in Saturday's game

Lions were defending well until the ball was shipped down Burton’s back line, and the lack of numbers resulted in an easy and well-worked score.

Almost a repeat performance led to another unconverted try for Burton to make the score 18-0.

A lovely mazy run by Dave Weston was supported well by Strickland, who was picked up and dumped on his back by Burton’s scrum half, and was rightly shown a yellow card.

An unconverted try at the start of the second half gave the home side a 23-point lead until, in attempting to run the ball from their own 22, their hands let them down for once and Dave Bunting was on hand to pick up the loose ball and scoot over the try line.

Dave Weston makes a break

Dave Weston makes a break

Strickland converted well to further reduce the arrears.

Almost straight from the restart a series of missed tackles on Burton’s big left winger, allowed him to stroll over under the posts to make the conversion simple.

Rugby continued to defend well, but with Burton running the ball at every opportunity, you felt that the tackle count would eventually start to take its toll.

Two further tries, one of which was converted, completed the scoring to give the home side a comfortable victory.

This week sees a break from league action which will hopefully give the injured players more time to recover.

The next game is home to Camp Hill on November 25 for a 2.15pm start.

Alex Tansley on one of his typically strong runs

Alex Tansley on one of his typically strong runs