Lions Loose it at homeSat 21 Apr

Following the euphoria after last Saturday's five point win at Hereford, Rugby Lions were bought back down to earth with a bump and were totally outplayed by an impressive Lutterworth side determined to avenge their opening day home defeat. To make matters worse, Melbourne recorded an unlikely five point win at Moseley Oak which puts them only one point behind Rugby with just Dudley Kingswinford to play next Saturday. With Lion's fixtures now complete, their future at this level is now totally out of their hands. Worse still, Lion’s narrow points difference advantage has been wiped out and is now, possibly  crucially, strongly  in Melbourne’s favour.

A series of handling errors by the home side, put Lutterworth on the front foot and strong drives by their forwards resulted in two early unconverted tries. Lions hit back following a darting run up the right hand touch line by Bituwaqa. Tackled just short of the line, Truslove was on hand to complete the touchdown in the corner.

Lion’s forward drives were looking very ponderous and ineffective compared to the visitors, and it was no surprise when Lutterworth extended their lead with two tries in a minute, one of which was converted to increase their lead to 5-22  The Lion’s scrum was under immense pressure, and the lack of control at the base of the scrums and mauls was costing them dear. On the stroke of half time, poor defence following a line-out seven metres out, allowed the visitors to extend their lead and make the game safe.

Lutterworth were totally dominant up front and Lion’s were living off scraps although a strong run from Herrington led to Munro taking the baton and feeding Hemsley, who had come out of retirement for this game, to score under the posts. Weston converted to reduce the arrears. The relief was short lived however, as Lutterworth resumed their dominance of possession. I don’t think I have ever seen Lion’s pack being shunted off the ball at such a great rate of knots, and were incapable of winning their own scrums.

All this possession inevitably had it's rewards, and Lutterworth added to their try count with embarrassing ease at regular intervals. Lions did respond with a strong run from Liam Munro who broke through two defenders to touch down following a couple of quick tap penalties. Lions were still in with a chance of a four try bonus point, and looked to have achieved this when a chip ahead was taken by Scott Truslove to score in front of the clubhouse. The joy was short-lived, however, as the try scorer was harshly adjudged to have been in front of the kicker.

A game that will not live long in Lion’s supporter’s memories ended with another couple of soft tries for the visitors to complete a roller coaster season for the Lions.

Rugby Lion’s fate will be sealed next week at Melbourne, who by my reckoning, need just one bonus point and to not lose by more than fifty. Let’s hope that Dudley Kingswinford play to their normal level and do the Lion’s a favour.


Final score: -   Rugby Lions 17  Lutterworth 53

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