MATCH REPORT: The Lions roar to another bonus-point win

Semisi Sitanislei Tei completes his hat-trick of tries for the Lions against Lichfield. Picture: Mick Sutterby
Semisi Sitanislei Tei completes his hat-trick of tries for the Lions against Lichfield. Picture: Mick Sutterby
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Peterborough Lions’ perfect start to the English Clubs Championship season continued at Solstice Park this afternoon (September 23) when they smashed visitors Lichfield 57-0.

In a one-sided Midlands Premiership clash, the Lions ruled the roost throughout. They dominated possession and territorially were in the ascendancy for 95 per cent of the game.

Wes Cope scored a superb solo try for the Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Wes Cope scored a superb solo try for the Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

A very youthful Lichfield side arrived at Bretton sitting in fourth place in the table - just two places behind the Lions - but an upset was never on the cards.

The Lions remain second, level with Newport on a maximum 20 points. Newport were 52-18 winners at Scunthorpe today.

Lions chairman Andy Moore, grinning from ear to ear, said: “Wow - another bonus point win in the bag and another wonderful display of open running rugby.

“Okay we missed a few chances early on in the first half but once we got into our stride there was no stopping us. It’s just wonderful to see everybody running with the ball in their hands - hookers, props, second rows - it’s marvellous.

Tom Lewis scored a deserved try at the end. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Tom Lewis scored a deserved try at the end. Picture: Mick Sutterby

“Of course we’re going to make mistakes adapting to a new style of play but you won’t find anybody complaining around here.

“Sure, Lichfield weren’t one of the strongest sides we’ve faced this season but there are no bad sides in this division.”

The Lions started slowly and the first of their eight tries never arrived until the 24th minute.

That was scored by the flying Tongan centre Semisi Sitanislei Tei, who was sent scorching in under the posts by number eight Sioki Vaha Taufu’i, another Tongan recruit.

Two more touchdowns arrvived before the interval. The first was scored by Sam Crooks after smart work by Dan Malem, Kaz Henderson and Ben Howard, and the second by Vaha Taufu’i after a superb break out of defence by Nico Defeo and impressive support play by Crooks.

Malem converted two tries and kicked a penalty to make it 22-0 at the turnaround.

Ten minutes into the second half and the bonus point try arrived from speed merchant Sitanislei Tei on the back of a devastating 40-yard foray by fellow centre Rory White.

The roles were reversed five minutes later as Sitanislei Tei’s electrifying pace created a try for White and then in the last 15 minutes Sitanislei Tei completed his hat-trick, hooker Wes Cope scored an eye-catching solo try after a beautifully judged chip over the defence, and the industrious Tom Lewis crossed for a deserved try after a Howard interception.

Malem kicked another five conversions.

The only disappointing piece of news to emerge from Solstice Park this afternoon was that winger Ryan Morris suffered a broken arm just before half-time.