Look out the rest of Midlands Division One as the Peterborough Lions have rediscovered their bite
Peterborough Lion started 2022 as they mean to go on by handing out a 38-10 Midlands Division One East beating to Lutterworth at Bretton Park on Saturday (January 8).
Lions chairman Andy Moore was understandably thrilled as new signings and players returning from injury gave his side a much more dangerous look.
Prop Callum Jakes returned after eight months sidelined by injury, hooker Matthew Worrall-Claire was back for the first time since September, also because of injury, while Will Carrington has come back to the club after three years away at Oundle and then Huntingdon, while second row forward David Arnold has moved across from Rushde,
“We are now able to compete in all areas with joined up play,” Moore enthused.
The game against Lutterworth was played on a very boggy pitch with a confident visiting side taking the lead with a penalty in the first 10 minutes.
The reshaped Lions took 20 minutes to get into gear, but shocked the away team with well worked forward play enabling Charles Pendlebury to score a try which was converted by Sam Dumigan for a 7-3 home lead.
However Lutterworth regained some composure and took the game back to the Lions, which at this stage was becoming very competitive, and they scored a try out wide which was duly converted for a 10-7 advantage.
They didn’t score another point as Lions rallied and then took control of the game.
Carrington started to organise and, after 10 minutes of immense pressure in their own half, they broke out, working their way down the pitch, phase after phase, involving forwards and backs, and like pass the parcel, the last one got the prize which in this case was prop Ben Wilkinson whose try gave the city side a 12-10 lead at the break.
The second-half was also competitive, only now there was an air of confidence oozing from the whole squad. The Lions forwards started stamping authority on all the set pieces which unleashed the new look back line time after time and it was only 10 minutes into the half when full-back Roko Davui ran in a try which was converted by Dumigan.
There was a second powerhouse try for Wilkinson and Davui, enjoying his new found freedom at full back, claimed his second try in showboating style after excellent work from the midfield three of Frankham, Dumigan and Carrington. Carrington converted this one for a 31-10 lead, but the Lions hadn’t finished.
The game was finished off in the dying seconds by number eight Katili Tuipulotu who got his reward for probably his best game this season by charging through a packed Lutterworth defence from a lineout to score a sixth Lions try to secure a bonus point win.
Lions and backs coach, ex-Tongan international Tevita Tiueti, have parted company.