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Match report 25/9/21

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    Posted: 27 Sep 2021 at 10:23

Leicester Lions 27 Clifton 21

Saturday 25th September 2021

League Points 5-1

Leicester Lions 27: Tries: Alex Wilc'ckson (22, 41, 51), Oli Taylor (70); Conversions: Ben Young (52, 71); Penalties; Ben Young (37)
Esher 21: Tries: Joseph Vajner (44), Dan Rowland (56); Conversions: Sam Morley (45); Penalties: Sam Morley (29, 66, 78);

Alex Wilc'ckson’s hat trick of tries gives Lions an exciting deserved victory over Esher.

Although this was only the fourth week of the season, Esher had won their first three games and stood at second position in National 2 South. With this performance record Lions were expecting a demanding and challenging game against the visitors.

Esher started off playing down the slope with the sun at their backs. After Esher took the kick-off Lions collected the ball, but their clearance kick was charged down and Lions were under forward pressure on their own line. Some excellent defence by Lions kept Esher at bay, with Lions taking the upper hand and taking the play to Esher, putting them under pressure on their own line.

Following a period of forward pressure, Lions shipped the ball out to the backs with Alex Wilc'ckson joining the line and going over for an unconverted try on the wing on 22 mins.

On 29 mins Sam Morley kicked a penalty for Esher.

On 37 mins Lions’ pressure led to Esher’s Adam Bullett being given a yellow card for a technical offence and Ben Young scoring the ensuing penalty to take an 8-3 lead going in for the interval.

Half-Time: Leicester Lions 8 Esher 3

Lions made an exciting start to the second half, with a scrum where the ball went out to the backs and Wilc'ckson again went over for his second try of the game.

On 44 mins Esher forward power allowed their hooker, Joseph Vajner, to drive his way over for a try, with Morley adding the conversion, making the score close to 13-10.
On 52 mins Esher kicked the ball to relieve Lions’ pressure, but this was skilfully collected by Wilkinson who shimmed his way through the Esher defence to score his most impressive hat trick try, with Ben Young adding the conversion to take Lions into a 20-10 lead.

Esher soon retaliated with forward pressure which allowed them to work the ball out to Dan Rowland on the wing, who went over in the corner for a try.

On 66 mins Morley added a penalty for Esher to bring the score back to 20-18.

On 70 mins Lions drove down the pitch putting the Esher line under pressure, with hooker, Oli Taylor, driving over for a Lions’ pushover try, with Young adding the conversion, taking Lions back into a respectable lead at 27-18. This meant that Esher had to score twice to come back into the game.

Morley added a penalty for Esher in the dying moments of the game, closing the score to 27-21, which gave them the chance of another score to take to game, or take the losing bonus point, but Esher were unable to add to their score.

Final Score: Leicester Lions 27 Esher 21

An evenly matched exciting game, keeping the crowd on its toes for the full eighty minutes, but with a deserved close victory for Lions, who maintained their ninth position in the league table.

Congratulations to Devon Constant who was captaining Lions for the first time in a National 2 South league game.

Leicester Lions’ head coach, Gareth Collins, said “Esher are a really good side and we knew that today would be a massive challenge. That was made even more difficult when we lost our captain, Ollie Tapscott, and one of our stand out players, Nick Cairns, to illness and injury respectively. The lads that stepped up from the bench and the twos were incredible though, and I was so proud of how the whole team played. They executed our defensive game plan superbly and just about managed to deal with their numerous attacking threats. The fact we managed to score four and gain a bonus point was the cherry on the cake. It was a real 20 man effort today and I couldn’t be prouder.”

Next week, on Saturday 2nd October 2021, Lions are away at Guernsey RFC, based on the Channel Islands.

Teams – Order 15-9, 1-8, 16-20
Leicester Lions: Alex Wilc'ckson, Jake Sterland, Zac Bean, Jamel Hamilton, Devon Constant, Ben Young, James Stubbs, George Taylor-Walker, Oli Taylor, Shaun Murray Ethan Godefroy, Will Ward, Simon Johnson, Jonny Murdoch, Dan Martin
Replacements: Rhod McNaughton, Isaac Thompson, Nick Cairns, Ben Cornwall,
Alex Smit.

Esher: Rhodri Adamson, Dan Rowland, Jack Lavin, Luke Peters, Tom James, Sam Morley, Pierre Thompson, Matt Lowes, Joseph Vajner, Theologos Skoumbourdis, Hugh Sloan, Adam Bullett, Cameron Wilkins, Finlay McBrearty, Lorcan Dow
Replacements: Charles Crawley, Tareq Haffar, Alex Stanley, Harri Lang, Sam Bullock

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