Peterborough 1st XV 26 Market Rasen & Louth 1st XV 7
RASEN travelled to Peterborough hoping to build on their victory from the previous week, but in the unfamiliar surroundings of an enclosed playing area complete with a stand on one side, it took a while for them to settle down.
Peterborough started strongly and with only two minutes gone, scrum half Mike Hogan confidently slotted a penalty to open the scoring for the hosts.
Despite this early setback, Rasen soon found their stride and drove back at Peterborough through the forwards to earn a penalty minutes later.
In the absence of a recognized kicker, Mihal Grint took on the responsibility and went within a whisker of levelling the scores as his well struck kick bounced back off the top of an upright.
Peterborough gathered the ball and quickly launched a counter attack that took them back into Rasen territory and eventually resulted in a further penalty for Hogan to extend the lead.
With their tails up, Peterborough were looking to play at a high tempo as winger Adam Peel had a clear run to the line, only to be pulled back for a forward pass.
Whilst the two teams seemingly had parity on possession, it was the home side that were more comfortable on the ball as Rasen made a series of unforced errors with uncharacteristic fumbles.
A further penalty just inside the Rasen half was again punished by the lethal boot of Hogan as the hosts accumulated points at every opportunity.
With the half drawing to a close, Peterborough won a lineout midway between their own twenty two and halfway for winger Christopher Sansby to explode through a gaping hole in the Rasen defence to put himself clear with one defender to beat.
In text book fashion the youngster delivered a perfect pass to supporting lock Andrew Dewdney to gallop over the line.
Hogan maintained his faultless kicking record with the conversion and the home side went in 16–0 up at the interval.
Within a minute of the restart Hogan was back on kicking duty with another penalty. Rasen now had a mountain to climb, but were not going to succumb without a fight.
Dan McDaid found touch with a penalty kick to put Rasen within striking distance of their opponents’ line. A catch and drive secured possession before the ball was moved into the open and then switched back down the blindside for marauding prop Ollie Cole to crash over. Grint added the conversion and Rasen were back in the game.
This score clearly lifted the visitors as they began to see more of the ball and put together some meaningful attacks.
Winger Nick Harvey was put into space with only his opposite number to beat, but having opted for a kick and chase, his kick wasn’t high enough to clear the defender who managed to catch it and avert the danger.
Peterborough’s Sansby then caused further consternation in the red and green ranks as another blistering run beat several would be tacklers before Grint’s last gasp effort brought him down.
Moments later the dangerous winger was on the ball again and created an overlap for full back James Reid to run in under the posts, giving Hogan a simple conversion.
Rasen responded bravely and took the game back to Peterborough with another penalty catch and drive then working the ball blind for hooker Will Oliver to cross the whitewash.
Unfortunately the final pass was adjudged forward and the score was ruled out. The red and greens continued to battle away to the end, but it wasn’t going to be their day and for all their efforts they left Peterborough empty handed.
The final score line was perhaps a little flattering for the home side, but they were more clinical than Rasen and made better use of their scoring opportunities.
With a little bit more belief from the outset Rasen could have run their hosts closer and in the weeks to come, mental strength will be as important as the physical side of the game.
Rasen: Starling C, Oliver, Cole, Chamberlin, Murphy, Dearden L, Starling D, Thornes, Neesham A, Everton P, Dearden A, Jones, McDaid, Harvey, Grint
Subs: Barr (Murphy), Southwell (Starling C), Ward (not used)
Peterborough: Askew, Chapman, Hodges, Hartwell, Dewdney, Loades, Meadows, Fearnie, Hogan, Low, Sansby, Prytherch, Carrington, Reid
Subs: Brudnell, Pearce, Reece
n Next week table-topping Derby are the visitors at Willingham Road for a 3pm kick-off.