Lions edged out after second half Vipers rally.
Cambridge Lions lost by an agonising four point difference in there first run of the year to a solid Luton outfit.
This was always going to be a tough game against the league new boys. Recently reformed the Vipers were not as blue blooded as you may think boosting experience across the park in a number of key positions and it was the visitors who had first blood with their influential half back scything through in the early exchanges to dot down under the posts.
My memory goes a little hazy from here on in but basically, with ball in hand the Lions looked excellent and we're able to get over the line four times in the first half with scores coming from Finn Morrison, Chis Kelly, David Carter and another try that I have forgotten. Schmidt converting two to give the Lions a 20-6 lead at the break.
The second half started well, Lions received the ball from the kick off and started a strong exit set. Sir then finally remembered to look at the play the ball and penalised the Vipers for being offside at the ruck. A tap penalty and the Lions were again in striking distance. However some strong Vipers defence managed to hold us out until the 5th, where Schmidt, feigning the kick danced through three or four opposing defenders to dot down over the line.
The momentum then swung. Going against our game plan we attempted a silly offload in our exit set and the ball was turned over to the Vipers. They then began to reap the rewards of an interchange (a luxury the Lions didn't have after David Carter was forced off with injury and having only 14 players to begin with).
The Vipers ran in several tries unopposed after some strong carries by their pack taking the score to 30-30
(it could have been more had their half not missed from in front of the posts - he was rightly awarded with the dick of the day).
Then, with sir yet again looking down the line rather than at the ruck, the most obvious of knocks on was missed which led to a break and the Vipers were camped on our line. Sir then again seemed to forget the rules as the Vipers sneaked their play the ball half a metre back, giving their dummy half enough space and time to spin and score what would turn out to be the match winner.
The Lions weren't done though, from the resulting kick off Jason Yip decided to use his head to slow up the onrushing defender which gave Tom Carslake and skipper Jackson enough of a target to hit to force the knock on.
The Lions then put some excellent pressure on the Vipers defence and on the last play of the game Finn made the break, only to be tackled agonisingly short of the line. In hindsight he should have had a support runner to offload to and that is something that we will take into training. Perhaps an extra man or some fresh legs would have made the difference.
In conclusion, it was an excellent game to play in and a real tale of two halves. Agony for the Lions and I'm sure joy for the Vipers to get their first win since their resurrection.
(I would mention about Rick's try saving tackle that dislodged the ball from a Viper clean through to score but we don't like him).
Man of the match was awarded to Josh Schmidt by the visitors and our dick of the day was dished out to Kerry "Mouth" Frazer.