It will be Tonga v Fiji when the Lions roar into Shropshire

It'll be the battle of the big guns in more ways than one when Peterborough Lions lock horns with Newport at the Old Showground in Shropshire on Saturday.

Thursday, 19th October 2017, 2:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:11 am
Sitanilei Tei Semisi sets off on a run for the Lions against Newbold-on-Avon. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Not only are they two of the main Midlands Premiership title contenders - Lions are top and Newport are third - but they possess two of the division’s most talented imports.

They’re both fleet-footed centres who have been scoring tries for fun and they both hail from South Pacific islands.

In the Lions corner is a terrific Tongan, Sitanilei Tei Semisi, and his opposite number will be a fiery Fijian called Henry Vaka.

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Rory White scored two tries. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Tei Semisi has twice run in a hat-trick of tries this season while Vaka scored three in big wins against Newbold-on-Avon and Old Halesonians and four against Scunthorpe.

An interesting duel is certainly expected in that area of the pitch in what promises to be a really explosive match-up between two sides going for promotion to National League Two.

The two sides last met in National League Three two seasons ago when the Lions were twice victorious. They won 22-9 at home and 31-12 in the North Midlands.

Lions start the game in pole position after accruing maximum points from their first six games.

Action from the Borough v Old Scouts game. Picture: David Lowndes

The latest success was at Solstice Park, Bretton, on Saturday when they beat Newbold-on-Avon 31-20.

It was a comfortable victory in the end but they were made to sweat in parts as they let a 14-0 lead slip to go 15-14 down on the half-hour mark.

“They came with a mission and to a certain extent it worked,” said Lions chairman Andy Moore.

“They had some big old boys out there and they caused us a few problems. The referee certainly interpreted things a bit differently to us when we responded and we ended up with all three of our front row forwards in the bin - Josh Waller, Wes Cope and Ben Howard.

More action from the Borough v Old Scouts game. Picture: David Lowndes

“So we certainly made it a bit difficult for ourselves but having said that we were always really in control of the situation.

“We stepped it up just when we had to.

“You can’t ask for more than six bonus-point wins from six games. If we carry on doing that I don’t care whether we win by one point or 50.

“A win of any kind will do against Newport. It’s a nice big juicy one that one and then coming up after that is Nuneaton at home and they’re going like a train at the moment.”

Rory White scored two tries. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Tei Semisi, Rory White (2), Dan Malem and Kaz Henderson scored the Lions tries against Newbold.

Borough continue to make satisfying progress at their new level of Midlands Division One.

Last year’s Division Two champions overcame Northampton Old Scouts 37-10 on Saturday at Fengate to make it four wins from six games and remain fifth in the standings.

Scouts were stubborn opponents in the first half, after which Borough led 15-10, but the introduction of experienced duo Nico Steenkamp and Reggie Reid from the bench in the second half saw Borough assume total control.

Try-scorers were Michael Watts (2), Joe Andresen, Michael Bean and Andrew Carruthers, Ben Higton was man-of-the-match and 18 year-old William Sismey, son of club legend John, made his debut on the wing.

On Saturday, Borough are away to Old Northamptonians, who are likely to be much tougher nuts than Scouts.

Action from the Borough v Old Scouts game. Picture: David Lowndes
More action from the Borough v Old Scouts game. Picture: David Lowndes