Bad day at the office Sat 22 Sep

For their second away fixture of this campaign, Lions returned to Northampton to play Old Northamptonians, whose impressive facilities are just down the road from the Old Scouts ground. That is where the similarities end, however as they proved to be a much sterner test.

Their strong running, excellent support play, and ball retention all combined to make it a hard day at the office for the Lions, and kept them on the back foot for the vast majority of the game. Lions welcomed back Louis Addleton at hooker after his suspension, but were still missing several key players through injury.

Lions were soon defending their line desperately, and it was no surprise when the home side scored a push-over try for a seven point lead. Lions responded well following a fumble from a chip ahead. A lovely break up the blind side from the scrum by Kris McFedries was halted when he was forced into touch five metres short. The home side were penalised at the line-out and Rugby opted for a scrum. McFedries picked up at the base, and this time nobody was going to stop him diving over. The conversion attempt failed to hit the target.

For the remainder of the first period it was backs to the wall for Rugby as the home side piled on the pressure and scored one penalty and two more converted tries to make the half time score 24-5. As if Lion's injury crisis was not bad enough, Josh Lockley, who has been in superb form this season, left the field midway through the first half with his shoulder strapped up. He missed the whole of last season with a shoulder problem, so fingers crossed it is not too bad.

The second period continued with the same pattern of play and in the same steady drizzle. The home side soon scored their bonus point try under the posts, but the kicker placed the ball far too close to the uprights, and that enabled an easy charge down to deny the extras.

To their credit the Lion's players never gave in, but the constant tackling was beginning to have an effect on their stamina. Three more tries were scored by the home side to complete a miserable afternoon for the Lion's players and supporters.

Next week Oundle are the visitors to Webb Ellis Road for a 3pm start time.


Final score:-  Old Northamptonians 48   Rugby Lions 5

                                            MOM LOUIS ADDLETON

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