Good start for the LionsSat 01 Sep

For their opening home league match in Midlands 1 East, Lions welcomed Melton Mowbray for their first ever visit to Webb Ellis Road. With a number of new signings, it was a case of putting names to faces for the home supporters. In Melton Mowbray's ranks it was good to welcome back ex lion Gareth Collins.

Lions kicked off in bright sunshine, and immediately shipped the ball down the back line, but the final pass went astray and into touch. Rugby kept the pressure on, retaining possession well, and Daniel Parrington streaked down the touch line to within five metres of the try line but his inside pass failed to find it's mark and the ball was knocked by a visiting player. At the resulting scrum, Lions were shoved back at a great rate of  knots, and were penalised for standing up. The game was becoming a little scrappy with the frequent whistle not helping the flow of the game, and it was the visitors who were first on the scoreboard with a penalty from in front of the posts. Both sides were struggling to win their own line-outs with more crooked throws than straight which maintained the untidy passages of play.

A long clearance kick by the visitors was expertly taken by Lion's fullback James Faulkner on his 22 metre line, and he set off on a mazy cross field run before feeding a long pass out to Parrington on the wing. He set off in typical fashion, skinning a few defenders as he streaked down the line before chipping the fullback and expertly collecting the ball to score a great try in the clubhouse corner. Higgins's conversion attempt from the touch line was straight enough but just didn't have the legs to cross the bar. A strong run from centre Andy Morrison to the same corner almost resulted in another try, but he was forced into touch a metre short. The half time whistle came with Rugby holding a slender 5-3 lead.

At the start of the second half, Lion's Jim Gurling picked up an injury, with Lewis Helme coming on as replacement, and Charlie Paxton switching to hooker. Lions were beginning to dominate possession and territory at this stage, and only some poor execution let them down. Kris McFredries also came off the bench to replace Jack Brenchley at scrum half. When Melton did have the ball, Rugby's midfield defence looked secure with some good hits coming in. The visitors finally got out of their own half, and took the lead with a penalty after Sam James was penalised for offside and given a spell in the bin.

Back came the Lions, and the constant pressure resulted in two yellow cards for the visitors in quick succession for illegally halting drives on their own try line..The pressure eventually told when captain Chris Wood crashed  over near the uprights with Joe Higgins converting to put Lions in front 12-6.

The match was rounded off with a lovely try from that man Parrington following a superb break down the blind side of the scrum from McFredries. The conversion was successful from in front of the posts and the final whistle blew to end the contest.

A promising start for the Lions, although there is still plenty to work on, especially in the set pieces.


Final score:-   Rugby Lions 19  Melton Mowbray 6 


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