Lions boss tells Birmingham to leave their champagne at home

No doubt about the big rugby game in Peterborough this weekend.

Thursday, 5th April 2018, 5:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th April 2018, 5:11 pm
Vili Maasi has agreed to coach the Lions again next season. Picture: Mick Sutterby

It’s at Solstice Park, Bretton, and it features the best two teams in the Midlands Premiership - Peterborough Lions and Birmingham.

Birmingham arrive sitting pretty at the top of the table and victory - or even a draw - will see them clinch the title and a place in National League Division Two next season.

Loads of their supporters are making the trip hoping for a big celebration.

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Lions skipper Chris Humphrey on the attack against Sandbach. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Lions chairman Andy Moore has other ideas. He insists his side will be party poopers.

“I’ve told Birmingham to leave their champagne at home,” he said.

“They maybe a good side, they maybe worthy champions and they will certainly have the bit between their teeth after having their game against Newport postponed last Saturday when they were expected to win the title.

“But we also have plenty to play for. A win will go a long way to giving us the runners-up spot and a promotion play-off place that goes with it.

Lions skipper Chris Humphrey on the attack against Sandbach. Picture: Mick Sutterby

“And if we are to finish second we will secure home advantage in the play-off if we get more points than the team finishing second in the Northern Premiership.”

That is currently Hull, who have 91 points with three games to play - exactly the same as the Lions.

And Moore maintains there’s also the small matter of gaining revenge over ‘the best team in the league’.

He said: “When we played them at their place back in December we only just lost 22-17 but we were the better side,” said Moore.

“They scored a try just before half-time and another right at the start of the second half when we were re-organising after injuries to Wes Cope and Tom Lewis. They scored at opportune times and if there had been another five minutes we’d have won the game.

“So we’ve also got plenty to play for and it should be an absolute humdinger of a match.

“We’re also on a roll - 11 wins on the trot - and our lads are in no mood to surrender that in front of our biggest crowd of the season.”

The Lions last defeat was the Birmingham game on December 2. Birmingham have lost just once all season - 23-20 at Sandbach on February 10.

Moore has also revealed before the big game that his head coach Vili Ma’asi, the former Tongan World Cup star who joined the club from Ampthill at the start of the season, has agreed to coninue in the role next season.

“And he told me he didn’t want to do the same league again next season. Onwards and upwards!” added Moore.

Lions expect to be at full strength for Saturday’s big match, which kicks off at 3pm.

On the other side of the city on Saturday, Borough also entertain the league leaders in their latest Midlands Division One East match when Bedford Athletic drop in at Fengate (3pm kick-off).

Borough are on a terrible run at the moment. They’ve lost their last seven games and the last one was by a whopping 84-5 margin at promotion-chasing Syston.

Damage limitation will be the name of the game against the ‘Ath’.

In the same division Oundle are at home to Huntingdon.