Peterborough Lions coach Darren Fox was delighted to see his side cope with the rough stuff on Saturday.
The city side were confronted by a massive set of physical forwards as Bridgnorth rolled into Bretton Park for a National League Division Three clash and Fox felt his boys more than held their own.
“They were the biggest pack we’ve played against this season and they certainly put it about,” said Fox, an abrasive flanker in his heyday with Saints and Bedford Blues.
“It was a war of attrition and I thought we came out of it well.
“We put bodies on the line and our energy levels were spot on. I was happy to get the four points for a win.”
Lions took the honours 26-20 and remain tenth in the table. They are, however, just eight points off third spot, which is occupied by this weekend’s opponents Broadstreet.
There was little to choose between the two sides in the first half with play confined to the middle of the park as the two sets of forwards slugged it out for supremacy. It finished 8-7 to the Lions with Will Carrington kicking a penalty and then touching down for a try after a lovely chip ahead by Nico Defeo.
The second half was a far more entertaining affair and the Lions hogged possession for most of it.
They scored two more tries with Defeo getting the first, a solo effort from a jinking 25-yard run after solid groundwork by Kaz Henderson, and Jack Lewis rolled off a maul to snatch the second after a fine lineout take by Marius Andrijauskas.
Carrington converted one of the tries and kicked two more penalties for a 16-point haul.
The win was all the more creditable seeing as Lions had two players visit the sin-bin. This week’s occupants were Andrijauskas and Crooks.
Crooks is unavailable for Saturday’s trip to Coventry to face Broadstreet and Fox said: “We will certainly miss Sam - he’s been in great form of late. It looks like I’ll have to put myself on the bench.
“We know Broadstreet will be tough at their place. They were relegated from National Two last season and are looking for a prompt return.
“They’re the in-form team in a topsy-turvy division where anybody can beat anybody so they’ll be favourites. That suits us. We’ve got nothing to lose and we’re looking forward to it.”
Fox is hoping to have two new players in the squad come Saturday - another Tongan international and a full-back on loan from Cambridge.
The Tongan is a 22 year-old centre currently in this country with the Tongan national squad.
The Lions already have one Tongan in the squad - Pen Faingaa - and he’s trying to entice more of his fellow countrymen into the Lions den.