It was another profitable afternoon (March 4) for Peterborough rugby with both city sides chalking up bonus-point wins in the English Clubs Championship.
Borough, the Midlands East Division Two (South) leaders, romped to a massive 89-0 victory over whipping boys Rushden at Fengate while the Lions beat Syston, the bottom club in National League Division Three, 24-0 at Bretton Park.
While Borough’s success was a joyous 15-try exhibition of fast, flowing rugby, the Lions’ match was an ugly, scrappy affair that ranked low in the entertainment stakes.
Four Lions players were sin-binned - Kaz Henderson, Tom Lewis, Darren Fox and Will Carrington - and Marius Adrijauskas was red-carded for retaliation midway through the second half.
“Syston came to frustrate us, and they certainly succeeded. It wasn’t a great game but sometimes good teams have to win ugly,” said Lions chairman Andy Moore.
The win was Lions’ eighth league victory on the trot and it was always on the cards after fly-half Nico Defeo weaved his way through the Syston defence to score a try under the posts after seven minutes.
Carrington converted and it remained at 7-0 for the next 30 minutes. But it was half-an-hour of rugby played almost exclusively in the Syston 22.
Eventually the Lions got the points their pressure warranted when an attack from deep by full-back Alanas Alauski was supported by skipper Chris Humphrey and he sent Carrington scurrying in at the corner. Carrington added the extras to make it 14-0 at the turnaround.
That quickly became 19-0 when two minutes into the seond half Fox raced in for the third Lions try after a dazzling break by Kaz Henderson.
The rest of the game was best forgotten. Syston spoiled, the Lions became frustrated and the referee’s constant calls for calm were ignored.
Deep into injury-time - and there was plenty of that - Henderson hacked a loose ball upfield and won the race to the touchdown to earn Lions their bonus point.
The Lions have moved up a place to fourth in the table.
Borough, as expected, proved far too strong for rock-bottom Rushden, who haven’t won a league game all season.
Lee Adamson’s high-flyers were 60-0 ahead at half-time.
Stefan Gallucci and Michael Bean both ran in for a hat-trick of tries and there was one touchdown apiece for Tom Williams, Joe Andresen, Stuart Day, Aaron Throne, Ben Edwards, Sarel Pretorius, Tom Downer, Rob Moulds and Danius Tomoliunas. Williams (4) and Tomoliunas (3) added conversions.
Borough remain 14 points clear of Old Laurentians at the top of the table while Oundle beat Stamford 72-22 and stay fourth.