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Match report 11/9/21

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    Posted: 12 Sep 2021 at 18:49

Leicester Lions 24 Clifton 31

Saturday 11th September 2021

League Points 1-5

Leicester Lions 24: Tries: Isaac Thompson (39), Dan Martin (75); Conversions: Ben Young (39); Penalties; Ben Young (3, 5, 45, 79)
Clifton 27: Tries Henry Harper (9), Marcus Nel (12), Harry Bate (61), Niall Gibbons (67); Conversions: Luke Cousins (10); Penalties: Luke Cousins (42, 55, 73);

Clifton’s clinical play shows their class against Leicester Lions.

Leicester Lions started their 2021-22 home season with a game against league leaders Clifton. Although it was only the second week of the season, Clifton had started last week with a significant 71-0 home win against league newcomers, Barnstaple. With this performance Lions were expecting a demanding game against the visitors.

Lions had the advantage of the slope and the breeze in the first half. The game started with some well balanced play, but Clifton lacked discipline and quickly conceded two penalties, scored by Lions’ Ben Young on 3 mins and 5 mins.

Clifton soon settled and had a purple patch with second row Henry Harper driving over to score a try, with Luke Cozens adding the conversion, quickly followed by a flowing move with Marcus Nel going over for Clifton’s second try. Only 12 minutes gone and Clifton had taken a 6-12 lead.

The remainder of the first half was well balanced, with both sides having opportunities, until Isaac Thompson, who had only just come on as a replacement for Lions, powered his way over for Lions’ first try, with Ben Young adding the extras, giving Lions a tight 13-12 lead going in for the interval.

Half-Time: Leicester Lions 13 Clifton 12

Just after the interval Cozens for Clifton and Young for Lions exchanged penalties to take the score to 16-15 after 45 mins.

Clifton then started to exert some command on the game in the middle of the second half. Lions were giving away penalties with some regularity and a penalty by Cozens, for Clifton, took them back into the lead on 55 mins, to bring the score to 16-18.

Some effective forward play by Clifton’s back row allowed them to power over with tries for wing forward Harry Bate (61 min) and No 8 Niall Gibbons (67 min) to open the score up to 16-28 and also giving Clifton their four try bonus point.

When Cozen added another penalty for Clifton, taking the score to 16-31, it started to look like Clifton might be taking overall control of the game.

After the restart Lions showed some excellent resolution with Dan Martin breaking through the centre to add Lions’ second try to close the gap to 21-31.

In the dying moments of the game Lions were pressurising the Clifton line, with Clifton giving away a penalty. Lions took the pragmatic decision with Young adding the three points, taking the score to 24-31, giving Lions a losing bonus point.

Final Score: Leicester Lions 24 Clifton 31

An evenly matched game, but with a deserved victory for Clifton, who maintained their position as league leaders.

Leicester Lions’ head coach, Gareth Collins, said “Clifton are a good side and we knew they would be really physical. I was pleased with how we started but a couple of turnovers and the complexion of the game changed very quickly. We did really well to regather and get ourselves into the game. We created a number of good moments but unfortunately we didn’t make them stick and to be fair to Clifton they were more clinical and deserved the victory.”

Next week, on Saturday 18th September 2021, Lions are away at Westcliff RFC, based near Southend-on-Sea

Teams – Order 15-9, 1-8, 16-20
Leicester Lions: Alex WilHuckleberryson, Jake Sterland, Dan Martin, Jamel Hamilton, Devon Constant, Ben Young, James Stubbs, Rhod McNaughton, Oli Taylor, Shaun Murray, Ollie Tapscott, Will Ward, Ethan Godefroy, Jonny Murdoch, Nick Cairns
Replacements: George Taylor-Walker, Isaac Thompson, Ed Sumpter, Simon Johnson,
Cameron Coates

Clifton: Alex Kilbane, Finlay Sharp, Zak Hamid, Marcus Nel, Alex Howman, Luke Cozens, Mitchell Spencer, Ricardo Cano, Jack Williams, Alex Giltrow, Henry Harper, Joseph Owen, Tom Wilson, Harry Bate, Niall Gibbons
Replacements: Regan Herbert, Bradley Talbot, Charles Bullimore, Andrew Simmers, Zac Ward

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