A Win but much to work on Sat 19 Aug

For their second warm-up game of the season, Lions welcomed Northampton Old Scouts to Webb Ellis Road. The visitors are now coached by former Lions favourite Karl Braband.

Consisting of four twenty minute periods, the game got underway in sunny conditions and Scouts were first off the blocks. Lion’s kick-off failed to go 10 metres, and from the resulting scrum, the ball was chipped deep into the home 22. A hurried attempt at a clearance kick 5 metres from the try line was charged down for a simple score.

Lions responded well with a series of driving runs, with Scouts conceding a string of penalties in their own 22 before they managed to clear their lines. The first quarter ended with the first of a series of handbag scuffles in what was becoming a rather feisty affair.

The home pack continued to gain the upper hand against a much larger unit and the penalties continued to flow with still no card being shown. The constant pressure had to tell in the end and Dave Weston found space to put Stuart Lee in for Lion’s first score. Weston converted well to put the home side ahead. A lot of niggle was creeping in to the game and both captains were given a long lecture (not for the first time). Following a tap penalty 10 metres from Lion’s line, the ball was shipped wide for a score in the corner to put the visitors back in front 7-12. Yet more handbags were thrown after the try was scored and amazingly both captains were binned (presumably for not controlling their troops).

After yet another penalty conceded by the visitors, the resulting lineout was duly claimed and the ball switched to Sam Herrington on the 22 who then streaked up the blind side to claim the try. The conversion was missed to leave the scores level. The remainder of the third quarter became extremely scrappy with numerous errors from both sides.

At the start of the final quarter, Scouts broke from their 22 and only a try saving tackle by Adam Attenborough prevented a score. Lions returned to the attack and finally a yellow card was given for persistent offending by the visitors. Following a scrum on the Scout’s 22, a strong drive from the Lion’s pack resulted in another penalty, which was despatched to touch for the line-out 5 metres from the try line. The throw-in was duly won, but yet again Scouts were offside at the resulting maul. A great piece of quick thinking by Sam Herrington saw a quick tap and nobody was going to stop him from that distance. Weston converted superbly from the touch line to give the Lions a seven point cushion. Rugby camped themselves in the visitor’s half to see out the remainder of the very competitive contest.

All in all, considering the number of personnel changes throughout the game, a satisfying performance from Rugby with the pack in particular more than holding their own against a much bigger unit. Still plenty to work on, but the signs are good.


Final score:- Rugby Lions 19   Northampton Old Scouts 12

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