It wasn’t a great afternoon for Peterborough teams in the English Clubs Championship today (September 10).
Peterborough Lions could only draw 13-13 at Lichfield in National League Division Three while Borough suffered a 14-10 loss at home to Oadby in their opening Midlands East Division Two (South) clash at Fengate.
The Lions were hoping to bounce back in style from last weekend’s heart-breaking 21-20 defeat at home to Derby against a Lichfield side they twice beat handsomely last season.
But once again the Lions failed to roar.
“I can’t believe we’ve played two of the weakest sides in the division and not beaten either of them,” fumed Lions chairman Andy Moore.
“We were lacklustre. We just can’t get going at the moment. We’re dropping down to the level of teams we should be beating,
“A draw at the end of the day was probably a fair result but it wasn’t a great game. Neither side were explosive and neither side showed any signs of brilliance. It was a very mediocre game of rugby,
“We know we have the players to do so much better. It’ll come, hopefully sooner rather than later.”
Lichfield opened the scoring with a 20th minute interception try and kicked a penalty before the Lions hit back with a try by powerful winger Vernon Horne, who shrugged off three tackles to touch down.
That made it 10-5 at the interval and a Nico Defeo penalty soon after the restart narrowed the gap to 10-8.
But for the second week running Lions hooker Jack Lewis was sin-binned and Lichfield cashed in with their second try from the resultant penalty.
Tom Lewis, ably assisted by Pete Kolakowski, went over from a lineout 12 minutes from the end to level the scores and earn Lions two points for the draw. But they were banking on much more.
Borough meanwhile scored cracking tries in the first minute and in the last minute at home to Oadby but offered little in the way of excitement in between.
They fielded five debutants in a new-look side, incuding high-profile player-coach Nico Steenkamp, and expectations were high.
But at the end of a rather drab affair it was the Leicestershire side who dominated most areas.
Borough struggled to gain possession and they struggled to keep possession, losing out time and again at the breakdown. And they found handling the greasy ball a far more difficult proposition than Oadby.
New South African signings Dean Hermans at centre and Sarel Pretorious at wing forward showed glimpses of promise annd new number eight Paulius Strigonas, a Lithuanian Under 21 international, had a couple of bullocking runs.
But overall it wasn’t an encouraging start and unless there’s a dramatic improvement Borough could well find themselves in the thick of a relegation battle once again.
On the plus side, scrum-half Harry Roe handled with care, fly-half Tom Williams kicked with interest and winger Chris Sansby ran at high speed.
Captain for the day Stuart Day, standing in for the injured John Thompson, grabbed Borough’s opening try while Sansby was sent racing in at the corner for their second by Stefan Gallucci.
Borough:Tommasso Lotti, Chris Sansby, John Anderson, Dean Hermans, Stefan Gallucci, Tom Williams, Harry Roe, Nico Steenkamp, Aaron Throne, Stuart Day, Adam Whiles, Robert Linnell, Sarel Pretorious, Chayne Loades, Paulius Strigonas. Subs; Ben Edwards, Dewi Pearce, Luke Smedley.
There were also defeats for the two other local sides playing in Midlands East Division Two (South). Oundle lost 22-21 at home to Oakham wwhile Stamford went down, also at home, 22-5 to Luton.