Rugby Lions 20 Lutterworth 2nd XV 20
Rugby Lions completed a third successive very close game last Saturday when they held a well organised Lutterworth 2nd XV to a 20-20 draw following a previous draw and a three-point victory.
So this was another enthralling game when again the opponents’ greater youthfulness and fitness level seemed likely to carry them to a win after Rugby had got off to a great start to lead 15-0 after the first quarter.
Lutterworth looked a proper club second team, bringing with them a coaching team and cones etc for warming up and they hit back to close the score to 15-12 at half time.
The result is not the main point to the club in the greater scheme of things this season but the Rugby players put so much into getting another scratch side together and into the game itself and the supporters want them to do well so victories or draws are very much more uplifting to everyone.
Lutterworth, an older club than Leicester Tigers who wore the same shirts for so long, then dominated possession in the second half but they were undone by the heroic tackling of the Rugby side and their own propensity to knock on so often.
Rugby’s first 10 points had come from a try, conversion and penalty as a fitting way for a returning player from a couple of seasons ago to announce himself. Alex Stevenson showed how useful he will be to the team if he is able to play more games. The second score went to quick winger Jamie Scott.
But the try of the game was scored with a huge mix of opposite emotions by Karl Lawson. Karl played with the club for many seasons in his youth and he is built for endurance rather than speed so it was thrilling to see him race three-quarters of the length of the pitch down a narrow left wing channel to outpace the visitors’ covering players and score in the garages corner.
But in the act of diving over the line, Karl damaged his collar bone and, after it was stabilised by physio Guy King, he was taken to hospital after the game by his dad, team manager Keith Lawson.
A prolonged layoff looks certain and the team will miss him.
Despite Lutterworth’s incessant late pressure, Stevenson had two last-minute kicks at goal to win the game for Rugby. Although both were from over 40 metres out, Stevenson has a prodigious kick but his first attempt hit the post for the second time in the game and the second one fell just short.
The worry is now that, with injuries taking their toll and former players having lost their free weekends when they might have turned out for Rugby because of snow postponements for league games, it will find be difficult to continue to gather enough players to continue to fulfil an increasingly crowded fixture list.
This does however give a fine opportunity for local players not currently playing with other clubs to get some games under their belt and enjoy the camaraderie that has been building in Rugby’s revival season.
Rugby: G Rothwell, J Scott, J Saunders, R McKowen, A Borg, A Stevenson, G Bennett, D Fry, P Goodfellow, B Everton, N Hill, T Fuller, R Milner, K Lawson, I Edwards, N Stone, D Holmes
On Saturday, Rugby play Aston Old Edwardians from Birmingham at Webb Ellis Road, ko 2.15pm.
Last Sunday, Rugby & District, largely consisting of players from the Rugby Lions U17 Colts squad, lost 22-3 to Coventry & Mid Warwickshire District.