Rugby: Fine away win for the ‘Team of the Year’

Vernon Horne scored two tries for the Lions.
Vernon Horne scored two tries for the Lions.
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Peterborough Lions made it the ‘perfect weekend’ when winning 36-24 at Sutton Coldfield this afternoon (January 31).

After losing at Old Halesonians a fortnight ago, the Bretton-based side returned to winning ways in National League Division Three just a few hours after collecting the Team of the Year prize in the 2014 Peterborough Telegraph Sports Awards.

“What a game, what a result and what a weekend,” said chairman Andy Moore. “I couldn’t have asked for more. It’s been the perfect weekend.

“It was a great way to follow up winning the Team of the Year award on Friday night. We were several players missing through injury but the lads that came in did a marvellous job in what was a real humdinger of a match.

“It was really physical and became a bit heated late in the second half when both sides still had a chance of winning. It was a fantastic match to watch.

“Other results went our way as well today and we’re right back up there again challenging for that promotion play-off place.”

Lions got off to a terrific start when number eight Ulaiasi Tuitubou, who came into the side for the injured Darren Fox, combined with scrum-half Harry Winch to send full-back Adam Barnard scuttling in for a try after six minutes.

Eight minutes later Vernon Horne crashed over after Lions won a five-metre scrum and that one was converted by Will Carrington.

Coldfield hit back immediately with an unconvertd try but despite losing Wade Schoeman to the sin-bin, Lions were able to stretch their advantage to 22-5 by half-time.

First Carrington kicked a penalty and then he converted a fine solo try by Winch.

Early in the second period as the tempo increased and the tackles became really ferocious, there were more cards shown. A Sutton player saw red and Lions prop Tom Laws got a yellow.

Sutton crossed for their second try on 55 minutes but two minutes later it went 29-10 to the Lions when Horne screeched in from 25 yards out and Carrington converted.

But the home side refused to concede defeat and stormed back into contention with two converted tries.

That made it just 29-24 to the Lions with 10 minutes to go and they were coming under some fierce pressure.

Their defensive play was solid, however, and Coldfield could find no way through.

They became frustrated, conceded loads of penalties and with five minutes to go the referee awarded a penalty try to the Lions which Carrington converted.

That took the heat off, although Lions did have to play out the last five minutes a man down after Tuitubou was sin-binned, and they hung for a maximum five-point return.

And with Nuneaton and Bromsgrove both losing, the Lions are back in second place in the table.

Over at Oadby Wyggestonians, Borough were pipped 7-6 in a low-scoring Midlands Division Two East (South) fixture. Joe Andresen kicked two penalties for Borough, who gained a losing bonus point.