Sat 11
1st XV
Peterborough Lions
Lions are Tamed at Heslam Park

Lions are Tamed at Heslam Park

By Peter Bright
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Defence Wins Games

Coming into this game, Peterborough Lions were placed second in the league, having lost only one match. So one must imagine that they would travel in expectation rather than hope. The Greens made the one change to their starting line-up when Steve Parker pulled out with injury and Mick Dunk came into the starting line-up, off the bench.

With the weather proving to be ideal for the handling game, bright and chilly, the visitors started like an express train with the ball going through the hands at pace. It took only 5 minutes for centre Nico Defoe to break through on half-way and maintain his pace through to the try-line. The conversion was unsuccessful but the visitors held a 5 points to nil advantage. Scunthorpe worked their way up into the opposition ‘22’ and from a lineout catch & drive, Grant Elliott got the touchdown. Jake Goodison was unable to add the extras but the home boys were level in the 10th minute. The home pack were starting to exert some pressure at close quarters, thereby restricting the Lions from gaining the quick possession that they desired.

Scunthorpe mid-field defence was quite outstanding as Oli Wood and Will Robinson led the way with some big hits. The Lions also fell foul of the referee and penalties gave Scunthorpe the position from which they put the ball through the hands for Sam Morgan to produce a powerful run down the right flank handing off a defender for an outstanding score in the corner. Once again Goodison was unable to improve things so, after 22 minutes The Greens held a 10 points to 5 lead. A long-range penalty failed in the 27th minute but Scunthorpe were still asking most of the questions.

With his pack in dominant mood, Tom Foster put the ball toward the right hand corner from where the pack, having initially failed with the drive, still managed to power over in the shape of Dave Garbutt. This time Goodison was able to convert for a 17 points to 5 lead. A penalty in first half added time was missed but Scunthorpe went into the interval with a healthy lead on the board and also a man advantage when The Lions second row was binned in the incident resulting in the penalty.

The Greens were again first to ask serious questions when after only 6 minutes of the second half a forward rumble was completed by Mick Dunk to the left of the posts. Goodison converted and Scunthorpe were looking good with a 24 points to 5 advantage. The Lions attempted to up their game but once more came against some resolute home defence and their woes continued when they had another man binned for having an inappropriate conversation with the referee in the 17th minute. The Greens again took full advantage and from an excellent break by Wood in mid-field, the attack was sustained, culminating in a final pass from Nick Dyson to Gareth Mist and a try under the posts. Goodison added the extras and Scunthorpe were looking home & dry with a lead 0f 31 points to 5 and 20 minutes of the second half played.

The Lions now playing for little more than pride, threw the kitchen sink at the home line and had a reward on the half hour when Marius Andrijuskis completed a multi phase move. The kick was missed but the score-board read Scunthorpe 31 to Peterborough Lions 10. The visitors kept plugging away and with the help of Dyson being sent to the bin, they managed another score just before full-time. Not many saw this result (31 points to 15) coming and it is great credit to Tim Robinson in getting the squad mentally back up after the disappointment of the result at Doncaster the previous week.

There is a break from league rugby next Saturday, so time to look at the walking wounded and get them back on to the park for the following week and maintain the momentum when they travel to Lichfield on the 25th November.

Louie Clayton

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Match details

Match date

Sat 11, Nov 2017




Midlands Premier

League position

Peterborough Lions