Match ReportSat 07 Sep

Rugby Lion’s first league fixture of the new campaign saw them travel to Oadby Wyggestonians for a tricky looking fixture against a team who finished in third place last season.

In perfect conditions and on a lovely surface resembling Twickenham, the home side opened the scoring with a try in the left corner which was converted superbly for an early seven point lead. Lions responded immediately with scrum half Callum Forsyth crossing the whitewash following a series of drives by the Lion’s pack. Kris McFedries playing at centre converted to tie the score. A strong run by Andy Morrison and a chip ahead intended for Forsyth just failed to find his man, but relief for the home side was short-lived as strong runs by Sam James and Martin Wood led to Callum Forsyth crossing for his second try near the uprights, also converted by McFedries.

A storming run by Chris Wood from inside his own 22 was supported by Forsyth and fly-half Phil Reed but the ball was adjudged to have gone forward five metres from the try line. The home side’s huge pack was pressuring the visitors at the set scrum and a penalty was awarded just inside Oadby’s half. Play continued and the home side got to within five metres of the try line before the ball was lost forward. Advantage was being played, however, and the penalty was awarded back on halfway. Following the kick to touch, the home side managed to drive over the line for a converted try and to tie the score at 14-14.

Back came the Lions, and more strong drives were just repelled, until the home side conceded a penalty. McFedries converted to give the Lions a slender three point lead.

Oadby’s huge pack began to gain the upper hand in the set piece, and pinned the Lions deep in their own 22 for a long period as the first half was ending. Despite being pushed back, Rugby just managed to retain possession from a scrum 10 metres from their own try line. Rugby’s travelling band of supporters were hoping that they could clear to touch to relieve the pressure, but the players had other ideas. They broke to their 22 and Callum Forsyth spotted a gap on the blind side and streaked down the left touchline. He was halted just short, but the impressive Phil Reed was on his shoulder to complete the move for a splendid length of the field try. The conversion from the touchline just failed to find the mark but Lions had a thoroughly deserved 14-22 half time lead.

The second half began with a period of scrappy play, but it was the home side to score first with a converted try and reduce the deficit to just one point. Back came Rugby, and following a series of strong drives Phil Reed was on hand to crash over for his second try and give the Lions the four try bonus point. It came at a cost, however, and he was forced off the field with blood streaming down his face. McFedries made the conversion to restore the eight point lead for the visitors. Former Leicester and England scrum half Harry Ellis was on the field for Oadby Wyggs and his chip ahead bounced fortunately into the hands of a team mate for another converted try. Rugby were not going to be denied however and concerted pressure led to a series of penalties being conceded by the home team. With a penalty advantage being played, a lovely chip through by the fit again Phil Reed was gleefully taken by Kris McFedries to touch down under the uprights. He converted his own try to make the score 28-36. Rugby finished the game strongly and McFedries completed the scoring with a penalty on the final whistle.

A thoroughly entertaining and committed game and a great performance by the Lions with superb defence and support play throughout. The signs look very promising for the upcoming season.

Next week the Lions entertain Old Northamptonians at Webb Ellis Road for a 3.00pm Kick off.

Final Score:-  Oadby Wyggestonians 28 Rugby Lions 39


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