RUGBY PICTURES: Lions show they can compete with the best in 19-7 defeat
Neighbours Lutterworth are this weekend's visitors to Webb Ellis Road
PICTURES BY RAY ANDREWS
Midlands 1 East
Rugby Lions 7 Derby 19
With Derby’s pitch unfit for play, the fixture was reversed to Webb Ellis Road for the latest round of league fixtures.
With the visitors currently undefeated, this promised to be a very tough encounter, writes Dave Rushall.
With new signing Dan Hay at number four, Lions could have had two tries in the first ten minutes but for a knock-on and the vagaries of a rolling rugby ball just evading the hand of Daniel Parrington.
They did however take the lead with a well-worked try from a scrum 30 metres out. Chris Wood picked up and some lovely interplay between Gledson and Morrison saw Gledson dive over. Kris McFedries converted.
The visitors responded with a good try of their own. In the sixth minute of stoppage time, Derby scored another try. Despite being the better side in the first half, Lions trailed 7-12 at half time.
Lions started the second half in a similar fashion, dominating territory, but unable to find the cutting edge when it mattered.
Injuries to Mike Howe and McFedries meant a reshuffle in the backs with Parrington moving to full back and Josh Lockley to wing. Lions lineout, which up to then had been excellent, then went astray big time, with the opposition stealing five in a row.
It was almost as though they had worked out the lineout calls and knew exactly where the ball was going.
The momentum was now with the visitors and it was no surprise when they crossed for their third try to lead 7-19 with 15 minutes still to play.
The home side were defending manfully and managed to prevent Derby from gaining the try bonus point.
Derby deserved their victory, but it proves that Rugby can compete with the best in this division, and with more clinical finishing, results can only improve.
This week Lions host local rivals Lutterworth, 2.15pm.