Best performance of the season for Peterborough RUFC, but Peterborough Lions lose the battle at the bottom

Action from Peterborough RUFC's win over West Bridgeford at Fengate. Photo: David Lowndes.Action from Peterborough RUFC's win over West Bridgeford at Fengate. Photo: David Lowndes.
Action from Peterborough RUFC's win over West Bridgeford at Fengate. Photo: David Lowndes. | JPI Media Ltd Resell
A superb second-half performance by Peterborough RUFC saw them brush aside fourth-placed West Bridgford 19-17 in a Midlands Division One match at windswept Fengate on Saturday (January 11).

Borough were desperate for a win following a derby defeat to Oundle, and playing with the strong wind behind them, started strongly, camping on the visitors 22 for sustained periods of time.

However, as in previous weeks they were unable to turn pressure into points, and West Bridgford looked dangerous in possession with a strong running set of backs causing the home side problems.

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It was this that led to West Bridgford taking the lead when their centre ran fully 40 metres unopposed and fed the support who scored under the posts to lead 7-0.

Wier Filikitonga in action for Peterborough Lions at Kettering. Photo: Mick Sutterby.Wier Filikitonga in action for Peterborough Lions at Kettering. Photo: Mick Sutterby.
Wier Filikitonga in action for Peterborough Lions at Kettering. Photo: Mick Sutterby. | [email protected]

But Borough responded well as Tom Stuffins intercepted a loose pass and sprinted from half-way to score under the posts. Levan Stapleton converted for 7-7.

Borough were then rocked by two setbacks. Firstly influential second row Stapleton was forced off with a head injury and then in an unexplainable 10th minute of injury time Borough allowed Bridgford to score in the corner to trail 12-7 at the break.

It is unknown what coach Phil Powell said to his men at half-time, but it worked.

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Against the strong wind and the odds, Borough turned in possibly their best 40 minutes of the season.

Curtis Weaver of Peterborough Lions is tackled without the ball at Kettering. Photo: Mick Sutterby.Curtis Weaver of Peterborough Lions is tackled without the ball at Kettering. Photo: Mick Sutterby.
Curtis Weaver of Peterborough Lions is tackled without the ball at Kettering. Photo: Mick Sutterby. | [email protected]

They started to tear great holes into a shell-shocked Bridgford defence led by Stuart Day, Josh Myles, Robert Mould, Sam Crooks, Luke Swindells, and replacement Aaron Throne.

Tries came firstly from George Offer, and then Borough swept into a 19-12 lead in the 70th minute when Sam Crooks ploughed over the line and Nick Langton coolly slotted the vital conversation.

The expected onslaught from Bridgford started, but Borough were in no mood to throw this one away. An exceptional cover tackle from Stuffins and another from Rosco Chamberlain kept the visitors at bay and the Borough set-piece held strong.

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In the 75th minute the referee brandished two red cards, one to the visitors and one to Luke Murphy for what at worst can be described as ‘handbags’

With the last play of the game Bridgeford,s dangerous centre broke clear and touched down, but the conversion went wide and Borough clinched the win they thoroughly deserved.

*Peterborough Lions went down 29-14 at Kettering in the battle between the bottom two in the Midlands Premier Division.

The city side felt refereeing decisions went against them. They scored tries through Asher Veamatahau and Ben Peach which were converted by Weir Filikitonga and Will Moore.