Lions players warned not to let themselves go over Christmas
There was a pleasing end to 2016 for Peterborough's two English Clubs Championship teams.
Both the Lions and Borough saw out the old with victories on Saturday and will be bringing in the new on January 7 on the crest of a wave.
The Lions entertained Lichfield at Bretton Park and roared to a 31-12 success to make it five wins, a draw and just one defeat from their last seven games in National League Division Three.
“We’ve run into a decent spell of form,” said head coach Darren Fox. “It’s getting better all the time and I was really chuffed with the way we played on Saturday.
“We’re playing better as a team and our game management is so much better. The penny seems to have dropped where tactics are concerned.
“But most important, the boys are working hard in the week. The message is getting across that if you train hard you’ll get your reward on a Saturday. And rugby is so much more enjoyable when you’re winning.
“I’ll be expecting them all to keep working hard on their own over the Christmas break. The worst thing they can do is let themselves go over Christmas.”
Tom Gulland was man-of-the-match for Lions on Saturday. He starred at number eight in a brilliant back row also comprising Sam Crooks and Chris Humphrey and had a hand in three of the five tries.
The bad news is that he’s off to New Zealand in January for six months. His last game will be at home to table-topping Nuneaton on January 14.
Fox said: “Tom will be a big miss. He’s been a great lad to have in the squad both as a player and a person. He’s a hard-working, respectable young man and he’s helped take the team forward.”
Nico Defeo and Sam Crooks both scored two tries against Lichfield, who were outmuscled up front, with Will Carrington crossing for the other try and adding three conversions.
Borough weren’t at their brilliant best on Saturday at Market Harborough but still had enough in the tank to pick up a bonus-point win.
They took the honours 22-7 with tries by Chris Sansby (2), Nico Steenkamp and skipper John Thompson.
And with Oundle losing 21-13 at Oadby Wyggestonians, it meant Borough have increased their lead at the top of Midlands East Division Two (South) to four points over Old Laurentians.
“We weren’t anywhere near as slick as usual but got the job done,” said vice-chairman Archie Bennett.
“They had a big pack and came straight at us from the start. It knocked us back a bit and we were 7-0 down at half-time.
“But we fought back in the second half to score four tries and bank the five points.
“Not our best performance but we’re top of the table at Christmas so we’re more than happy.”