Lions have to start with a roar says Fox

Sam Crooks (right) is ruled out for another month with a foot injury.
Sam Crooks (right) is ruled out for another month with a foot injury.
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Darren Fox will be looking for his Lions to roar from the first whistle when they entertain Sandbach at Bretton Park on Saturday (2.15pm).

A fortnight ago in their last National League Division Three fixture at Towcestrians, the Lions made a very slow start and it almost cost them.

They went 12-0 down inside seven minutes before fighting back to clinch a 33-24 victory, and head coach Fox wasn’t happy.

“I expect us to be beating sides like Towcester comfortably not to be scraping a win in the last few minutes,” he said.

“Yes, we won in the end but we made if far too difficult for ourselves. We are a strong, physical side and we must impose that physicality on opponents from the word go. If you don’t - just as we’ve seen in the internationals - you end up struggling.

“So against Sandbach I’ll be looking for us to come out with all guns blazing.”

Fox will once again be minus several players through injury. Jonathan Hill, Sam Crooks, Andrew Dewdney and Arturius Balcunius are all ruled out and others face fitness tests tonight (Thursday) at training.

“It’s difficult when players drop out . . . I’ve got such a small squad,” said Fox.

“But I’m used to it and no doubt I’ll be looking to bring a couple of players in on loan before Saturday. I’ve got one or two players to talk to.”

Sandbach will arrive having suffered four defeats on the spin whereas the Lions have won their last five games.

“All games are tough at this level,” added Fox, “and Sandbach will want to play some rugby from the start. It’s our job to stop them.”

Back in October up in Cheshire, Sandbach beat the Lions 35-27.