A big win for the Lions but Fox tells players to get more physical

Nico Steenkamp drives forward for the Lions against Longton. Picture: Mick Sutterby
Nico Steenkamp drives forward for the Lions against Longton. Picture: Mick Sutterby
Have your say

Peterborough Lions got their promotion bid off to a promising start when beating Longton 42-12 on Saturday.

But head coach Darren Fox will be asking his Lions to roar even louder when they play their first home game of the season in National League Division Three at Bretton Park on Saturday.

“Longton were stubborn and it took us a while to wear them down. But we were patient and it was a good result in the end,” said Fox.

“To win away by 30 points and not concede a try is a good start in anybody’s book so I’m happy.

“I certainly couldn’t fault our workrate but we lacked a bit of intensity so I’ll be asking the lads to step up their physicality this weekend.”

The call by Fox to get more physical doesn’t come as a surprise. The fiery flanker was renowned for his abrasive qualities when playing at the top level for Northampton Saints and he was a real powerhouse for the Lions last season when leading them to a third-place finish in their debut season in the National League.

But now he’s decided to play a far less active role on the pitch this season, he’ll certainly be looking to others to deliver the big hits for him.

“I’m finding it very difficult watching,” confessed the 34 year-old, who was a profesional player for 14 years. “I was itching to get on there and sort a few things out on Saturday. For the time being though, now we’ve got a really strong group together, I’m better off surveying the situation from the touchline.

“It’s time for the young lads to start putting pressure on the senior players anyway.”

If they don’t ‘Foxy’ will be in there!

“I’ve not retired - just taking a rest,” he added.

Fox won’t be playing on Saturday when newly promoted Newport enter the Lions’ den (3pm kick-off) but there will be changes to the starting XV.

“I know we won well but we’re a big squad now and it’s only fair that I give some of the lads who missed out on Saturday a chance to show what they can do at this level,” said Fox.

With one or two players also carrying knocks, the team won’t be announced until after training tonight.

Lions were only leading 10-9 at the break at Longton but turned on the style in the second half and ran in tries through Will Carrington, Vernon Horne, Adam Barnard and Harry Winch. Wade Schoeman touched down in the first half.