Stourbridge 21-18 Melbourne
Misfiring Melbourne miss chance for 1st win
Melbourne travelled to the West Midlands to face Stourbridge Lions. The green & gold welcomed back Jacob Watts, jack pearce, Darryl Banton and Will Brooks to the squad and there was a confident mood amongst the players. Conditions were good with a strong cross field wind.
The green and gold were immediately under pressure and conceded an early score through what was an uncommon poor defensive display. Melbourne started to come into the game as time progressed and were soon on the score bored as an ill disciplined Lions gave a penalty wide right which Holden converted (7 - 3).
Melbourne had the lions share of possession and mustered a good try through there backline as the ball was shipped wide to youngster and promising talent Charlie Livesey who stepped inside and ran a strong line to touch down for a 5 point score (7 -8).
Melbourne's scrum was dominant in the first half and gave a good platform for Melbourne to attack from but despite their possession and creation of multiple scoring opportunities the green & gold could not find their clinical edge as multiple chances went begging much to the frustrations of the players, coaches and supporters. Melbourne and Lions added a further penalty a piece taking the scores to 10 -11.
Further frustration lay ahead with Melbourne once again dominating possession, their set-piece faltered at times and the green & gold lacked composure that would have surely rewarded their for efforts had they shown more patience. The Lions kept their spirit and looked threatening when they had the ball against a misfiring Melbourne. They drew first blood with a score against the run of the play taking the scores to 15 - 11.
Melbourne kept themselves in the game and had dominant periods of play but again created opportunities which should have been converted. Discipline had been a real positive for Melbourne with very few penalties conceded but as the clock ticked a couple of decisions went against them to allow Lions to take an 18 - 11 lead. This was short lived as Nightingale powered over the line and a conversion saw the scores taken to 18 - 18.
With around ten minutes on the clock the green&golds were looking to maintain discipline and keep it tight. However, a penalty by their 10m line gave the hosts the chance to extend the score to 21 -18. However, time was still on the clock and the Lions ill discipline cost them two yellow cards in the final stages. Melbourne continued to batter on the door and were camped for considerable periods on the Lions try line but a combination of lax possession or poor decision making led to opportunities going begging. Despite best efforts all Melbourne could take home was a frustrating loosing bonus point.
Head Coach, Matt Derbyshire said " Our one big positive today was our improvement with discipline. This needed to improve from over the last few weeks. We are all disappointed but thats actually a good thing as it shows that we have belief that we can and should be taking victory from these games. We created a host of opportunities but we didn't have the composure or patience which is frustrating - that will come. We are creating the chances and with a few adjustments and some better decision making I'm sure we will turn these tight games around."