MATCH REPORT: LIONS 31 DERBY 17: Revenge win for Peterborough’s finest

Vaha Halifonua is about score a try for Peterborough Lions. Photo: mick@picturethisphotography.co
Vaha Halifonua is about score a try for Peterborough Lions. Photo: mick@picturethisphotography.co
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Peterborough Lions made it two wins from two Midlands Premiership games with an impressive success over Derby at Bretton Park.

Things didn’t start too well for the city side when superstar Tongan centre Semisi Sitanislei Tei pulled a hamstring in the warm-up and had to withdraw, but they certainly finished strongly after pulling away from a 12-14 defeicit early in the second-half to win by 14 points.

Pete Kowalkowski on the charge for Lions against Derby. Photo: mick@picturethisphotography.co.

Pete Kowalkowski on the charge for Lions against Derby. Photo: mick@picturethisphotography.co.

For an hour it was real end-to-end combat with both sides showing great physical strength and no little skill, but Lions eventually managed to avenge a disappointing opening day defeat at the hands of the same opposition last season.

“We wanted this one badly,” insisted Lions chairman Andy Moore. “We felt we owed them one after last season and the lads played well after suffering the disappointment of Tei’s pre-game withdrawal.”

Kaz Henderson popped over for a Lions try after 10 minutes, but Derby were soon in front with a converted try of their own.

A classic forward’s try from prop Ben Howard and a Dan Malem conversion meant Lions could take half time 12-7 in front, but Derby’s response after the interval was quick with another converted try.

Jonathan Hill on his way to a try for Lions against Derby. mick@picturethisphotography.co.

Jonathan Hill on his way to a try for Lions against Derby. mick@picturethisphotography.co.

Centre Jonathan Hill then crossed to get Lions back in front and they never looked back with Vaha Halifonua powering over for a try quickly followed a five-point score for scrum half Tom Aviss. Malem converted both.

The win sets up a cracker of a contest next weekend when Lions travel to Doncaster who are also unbeaten.