Promotion a possibilty after Lions keep great run going

Darren Fox admitted his side got distracted from the job in hand when they entertained feisty Syston on Saturday.

Thursday, 9th March 2017, 1:40 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:47 am
The referee points the finger at Lions forward Marius Andrijauskas, who was sent off against Syston for the second time. Picture: Mick Sutterby

The Lions won the game easily enough 24-0 with Kaz Henderson securing the bonus point with an injury-time try, but it was a horrible stop-start contest punctuated all too regularly by off-the-ball skirmishes.

The referee repeatedly called on the skippers to control their players but the requests to calm down were ignored.

It led to a flurry of yellow cards - Kaz Henderson, Will Carrington, Tom Lewis and Fox himself all spent time on the naughty step for the Lions - and fiery Lithuanian lock Marius Andrijauskas received a straight red for retaliation midway through the second half.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Will Carrington grapples with a Syston player. Picture: Mick Sutterby

“They came to spoil, to wind us up and they were successful,” admitted Fox.

“Instead of getting involved in disagreements and arguing we should have played our usual brand of tough, physical rugby.

“We got sidetracked but we’ll learn from it. It’s all part of the learning curve - even at my age - and we need to be a bit smarter in future when playing these type of teams.”

Syston are bottom of the table and this Saturday the Lions are away to the team next to bottom, Bedford Athletic (3pm).

Tom Aviss attacks for the Lions against Syston. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Fox added: “We’re expected to win and I expect us to win but they’re certainly not going to roll over. And if they try to get under our skin like Syston did we’ll be better prepared.”

Andrijauskas, who was also sent off against Syston in October 2015, has been banned for two games by the club and will almost certainly receive additional punishment when he attends a disciplinary hearing next week (Thursday March 16).

That means he’ll miss key games at home to play-off rivals Birmingham (March 25) and Broadstreet (April 8).

“All the other results went for us for a change on Saturday and I think we’re in with a good shout of finishing second and getting that promotion play-off place,” said Lions chairman Andy Moore.

Will Carrington grapples with a Syston player. Picture: Mick Sutterby

“We’re only six points off Broadstreet and still have them to play at home and they also have to go to Nuneaton.

“Obviously missing Marius for those big games is a massive blow but we’ve got players coming back from injury so you never know.

“To think where we are now after such a poor start to the season is a magnificent achievement and all credit to ‘Foxy’ and his coaching team. And of course all the players involved in a fantastic winning run of eight games deserve a pat on the back.”

Borough meanwhile continue to run away with the Midlands East Division Two (South) title race.

Tom Aviss attacks for the Lions against Syston. Picture: Mick Sutterby

They need a couple more victories to secure promotion back to Midlands Division One and should get one of them on Saturday when they visit local rivals Stamford (3pm).

The Lincolnshire side have suffered heavy losses in their last three games, including a 71-24 whupping against Oundle on Saturday, and they were no match for Borough back in November losing that one 46- 15.

Last weekend Borough slaughtered rock-bottom Rushden 89-0 with Stef Gallucci and Michael Bean each scoring a hat-trick if tries.