No bitterness, but Peterborough RUFC badly want to beat the Peterborough Lions

Peterborough RUFC head coach Phil Powell insists there is no bitterness between his side and Peterborough Lions - on the pitch at least - but he admits both teams will be desperate to win their East Midlands Cup tie at Fengate tomorrow (January 25, 2.15pm).

Friday, 24th January 2020, 9:00 am
Action from Rugby Lions (white) v Borough. Photo: Mike Baker.

For both teams the match will be seen as a welcome break from Midlands League struggles and it’s the chance to play in front of a large and passionate crowd.

Powell is expecting a tight game with self-discipline a key factor.

“Whoever keeps 15 men on the pitch at all times will probably win,” Powell said. “That’s not to say I expect a dirty game. It will hard fought like all derby matches and both sides will be desperate to win so not irritating the referee will be important.

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Action from Rugby Lions (white) v Borough. Photo: Mike Baker.

“The clubs get on well these days. There is certainly no bitterness between the players and the coaching staff. The biggest rivalry is probably between the higher-ups!

“Lions coach Vili Ma’asi is a great guy and I know he gets on well with our player Sam Crooks as they were together for a while.

“We’ve had a training session against each other this season and I suspect we will have another one when this game is out of the way.

“We even loaned them some players at the start of the season so we get along fine.

Action from Rugby Lions (white) v Borough. Photo: Mike Baker.

“It’s a game we want to win though and we can do it if we play to our best. It should be a great occasion with a big crowd watching.”

Borough have endured an inconsistent campaign in Midlands Division East.

They followed their best win of the season against West Bridgeford with a disappointing defeat at Rugby Lions last weekend (January 18) when they threw away a 12-0 lead to lose 16-12.

Rob Jacobs scored two tries, one of which was converted by Levan Stapleton, but from 12-5 up at the break a couple of lapses of discipline cost Borough dear.

“We were the better side,” Powell insisted. “But we conceded a couple of soft tries and then a couple of soft penalties and that was that.

“It was very frustrating, but there’s no better game to put things right than the one we have tomorrow.”