Peterborough Lions 1st XV 63-10 Market Rasen & Louth 1st XV
Safe in the knowledge that their league status was secure, the red and greens travelled to Peterborough with high hopes that they could better their narrow seven point defeat at Willingham Road.
However, it soon became clear that the Lions, with promotion firmly set in their sights, had other ideas.
For 30 minutes the game was competitive, despite the Rasen scrummage struggling to hold the big Lions pack, but thereafter the visitors were overwhelmed by a side in fluent mood with excellent support play tearing Rasen to shreds.
The opening period of play was promising as both sides moved the ball well, although Rasen were the more prone to spill possession to give the Lions counter attacking opportunities where fullback JC Sagoe was particularly prominent with some silky running.
Despite this, Lions were only leading by three points from a Jaco Steenberg penalty when Rasen stunned the home support with a try from winger Dan Robinson in the 21st minute.
A Lions attack broke down and Robinson took the ball down the touchline before chipping into space over the advancing defence. Steenberg tracked back for the Lions and recovered possession, but his clearance kick was woefully short of touch and bounced into the arms of Nick Harvey, who set off on a mazy run eluding several defenders before he was eventually halted.
With quick recycled ball Robinson came off the opposite wing to cut an angle, leaving the defence leaden footed as he crossed the line. Fullback Matt Sutton slotted the conversion to extend the Rasen lead.
With confidence boosted from this score Rasen attacked from the restart, but the ball went loose and was latched onto by winger Arta Bal whose surge up the touchline proved unstoppable as he powered his way to the corner to restore the home advantage.
Within four minutes the balance tipped back in Rasen’s favour as Lions number eight Saad Sait, who was proving a handful with his direct running, picked up from a defensive scrum in his own twenty two and headed to the middle of the field only to be felled and penalised for holding on. The kick in front of the posts on the twenty two was no problem to a kicker of Sutton’s calibre and Rasen were back in front with no inkling of the maelstrom that was about to hit them.
Skipper Sait made up for his earlier error by powering over from a short range scrum and corpulent replacement fly half Ramos Vinksna touched down with the last play of the half to give Peterborough Lions a healthy 20–10 lead.
The second half was a one sided affair as the Lions piled on the points with a masterly display of strong running and support play, which left Rasen shell shocked and restricted to a handful of visits into Lions territory.
Sait completed his hat trick with two further tries whilst his partners in an impressive back row triumvirate collected three more with Francois Weise crossing twice and Chris Humphrey once. Centre Gedis Marcisauskas scored two tries with conversions added by Laurent Ross and Steenberg bringing the total points to 63.
Rasen had the misfortune of confronting a Peterborough Lions side on a day when everything clicked for them. It is a long time since the Rasen pack has been under such pressure at the set scrum and that really set the tone for the game. The men in red and green battled manfully, but Peterborough Lions were quicker in thought and deed, reflecting the two teams respective league positions.
On Saturday it’s the final league game with Paviors the visitors to Willingham Road for a 3pm kick off. Whilst Paviors lie only one spot above Rasen it isn’t possible to overtake them, but a win would secure eighth position in the league.
Teams: Rasen: Starling C, Alldridge, Ashton, Crowe, Bell, Mills, Dearden L, Chamberlin, Noquet, Goodison, Robinson, Dearden A, Edell, Harvey, Sutton. Subs (all used): Andrews, Bullivant, Burgess
Peterborough Lions: Van Niekerk, Roberts, Carter, Andrijauskas, Page, Weise, Humphrey, Sait, Ross, Steenberg, Burgess, Marcisauskas, Vilmavicius, Bal, Sagoe. Subs: Vinksna, O’Connor, Rossouw