Lions take a deserved break after storming into top spot

Sioki Vaha  Taufui drives forward for the Lions against Longton with player/coach Vili Maasi up in support. Picture: Mick Sutterby
Sioki Vaha Taufui drives forward for the Lions against Longton with player/coach Vili Maasi up in support. Picture: Mick Sutterby
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Peterborough Lions will take a well deserved rest this weekend sitting proudly at the top of the Midlands Premiership table.

It’s a blank weekend on the English Clubs Championship front and the Lions should have been starting their defence of the East Midlands Cup with a quarter-final tie at home to Long Buckby.

The Midlands Division Two East (North) side have conceded, however, and the Lions will now go through to face the winners of the Wellingborough v Kettering game in the semi-finals.

And of course it means a Saturday off for the table-toppers.

“The lads certainly deserve a break,” said chairman Andy Moore. “They’ve had five really hard games - four against teams in the top half of the table - and it will give those who are carrying knocks more time to recover before we resume at home to Newbold-on-Avon on October 14.

“And who’d have thought we’d win all five of those games with five bonus points to go top of the table? It’s been an unbelievable start, our best ever in four seasons at this level, and clearly the mission now is to stay in pole position.”

And with the terrific Tongan trio of player/coach Vili Ma’asi - a former World Cup captain who can play anywhere in the pack, centre Semisi Sitanislei Tei and number eight Sioki Vaha Taufu’i in such awesome form, that could well be achieved.

Against Longton on Saturday, the three of them played key roles in a 41-28 victory. Ma’asi was the driving force up front while Sitanislei Tei (3) and Vaha Taufu’i (2) scored five of the six tries.

It was a second hat-trick in succession for Sitanislei Tei, who has crossed eight times in four appearances.

Nico Defeo grabbed the other try with Dan Malem kicking four conversions and a penalty as the Lions led 41-7 before taking their foot off the gas in the closing quarter.

It wasn’t such a good day for local sides in Midlands Division One. Borough were pipped 25-24 at Melton Mowbray and Oundle lost 35-7 at league leaders Old Northamptonians.

Borough did at least pick up a losing bonus point and another for scoring four tries. Mooki Tshepo followed up his hat-trick last weekend with a pair and Michael Bean and Tom Stuffins also crossed.