Rugby roundup: From Russia with love... to the Lions

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AFTER the Lithuanian invasion, there’s a Russian revolution at Peterborough Lions.

The Bretton-based club snapped up three Lithuanian internationals from city rivals Borough in the summer, and now a Russian international has entered the den.

He’s a 20 year-old second row forward called Karolis Navickas and he’s described by Lions chairman Andy Moore as a ‘man-mountain’.

“He’s massive,” said Moore. “I don’t know what he weighs but he’s 6ft 8ins tall and looks really mean.

“He is actually a Lithuanian but he’s been playing in Russia and has played for their national side. The Russians wanted him to stay over there because they need him to play for them in the World Cup next year but he wants to play professionally in England.

“The only trouble is he doesn’t speak a word of English so he’s been finding it difficult to get a contract anywhere. In the mean time, because he’s a big mate of one of our Lithuanians, Gedis Marcisauskas, he’s turned up at the Lions. How long we’ll hang on to him, I don’t know.”

Navickas made his debut for the Lions in Saturday’s comprehensive win over Lutterworth. He scored one of the side’s eight tries in a 51-10 triumph which leaves the Lions joint top of Midlands Division Two East (South) with three wins out of three.

Star of the show though was Max Guseinov. The Lithuanian full-back scored a hat-trick of tries and Moore described his display as ‘phenomenal’.

Other tries came from Rudi Van Der Merwe (2), Marcisauskas and Liam Mills with Jaco Steenberg kicking four conversions and a penalty.

Club coach Pete Kolakowski, a big-name signing from Cambridge last term, played his first game of the season and showed no ill-effects from the shoulder injury that was keeping him out.

“But we were still without Marius Andrijauskas, Jacques Vorster, Ian Underwood and Adam Luca through injury and Saad Sait through suspension. We’ll be deadly when we’re at full-strength,” said Moore.

Underwood wasn’t fit enough to play for the Lions first team because of a hamstring pull but stepped in at the last minute to help the seconds out in an East Midlands merit table match against Olney seconds and he scored three tries in a 49-15 win.

BOROUGH seconds were walloped 51-0 at Old Northamptonians seconds, coach Chris Phillips citing superior fitness up front as the big difference between the sides.

There were, however, good individual performances from Lee Witcher, playing his first game of the season, and Alfie Thompson after returning from Afghanistan. And Andy Richmond was a presence at every breakdown and Jonny Beal never missed a tackle all day.

SPALDING are starting to find their feet at Midlands Division One (East) level.

After losing their first two games following promotion, they’ve strung together three victories - the latest a 41-12 win over Matlock on Saturday.

Here skipper Harry Sharman and winger Ollie Phillips both crossed for a hat-trick of tries and there were good displays by Ben Hoyles and new second row man Joel Riddle.

INJURIES meant Deepings were a bit thin on the ground for their trip to Rugby St Andrews in Midlands Division Three East (South).

They were forced to draft in several youngsters and ended up crashing 46-3 - their first defeat of the season.

Andy Akam was voted Deepings’ man-of-the-match.

ON the junior front it was a great weekend for Peterborough sides.

Borough Under 15s led the way with a whopping 74-0 win at Oundle in the first round of the East Midlands Cup.

Flanker David Hughes helped himself to four tries while Stefan Gill was voted man-of-the-match.

Borough Under 16s were also in East Midlands Cup action and they knocked Long Buckby out 10-7 through tries by Chris Power and Zak McClure. Power and McClure both stood out along with Frankie Cook, Jack Rogers, James Berry, Bill Fear and Warren Allett.

Borough Under 13s bounced back from a drubbing by Kettering to beat Huntingdon 31-7 with touchdowns coming from outstanding number eight Martin Ball, back row star James Westlake (2), feisty centre Matt McCracken and winger Louis Smedley.

Full-back Matt Nickerson hardly put a foot wrong throughout and Will Beall at scrum-half capped a terrific match with three conversions.

Borough Under 12s had two games against West Norfolk, winning 20-0 and 15-5. Loic Lamy (2) and Ben Morris (2) were the leading try-scorers while new additions Joe Turner, Lewis Smith and Luke Lockhead all played well.