Market Rasen & Louth 1st XV 32 Peterborough 1st XV 24
PETERBOROUGH returned to Willingham Road eager to eradicate the memory of the 42–5 thrashing they had endured last season and made a bright start.
In the third minute, the ball found its way to number eight Pete Kolakawski who drove at the home defence before a delicate off–load to Sam Redhead allowed the fullback to run in under the posts. Fly half Duncan Low slotted the conversion to give the visitors a dream start.
The red and greens made a swift response and were soon deep in Peterborough territory. After an untidy scrum where Peterborough’s scrumhalf, Harry Roe, almost stole the ball, Rasen re-gathered possession and set off towards the line, where reliable prop Chris Starling was driven over. Centre Meehal Grint nailed the tricky conversion to bring the sides level with only six minutes elapsed.
As the red and greens attacked, a spilled ball in midfield gave Peterborough turnover possession and Kolakawski charged up field, eating up the ground before he was eventually halted.
At the ensuing ruck, Peterborough flanker Andy McMenemy was deemed to be a little too vigorous and the referee issued his first yellow card of the match. Rasen cleared to touch, but a poor tap at the lineout gave scrumhalf Mike Starling little chance as Peterborough poured through to win a penalty after the home side were unable to legally repel the advance.
Low kicked the penalty, which seemed to rouse the red and greens to up their game.
Deep in Peterborough’s twenty-two, prop Ollie Cole with a trademark run, brushed aside defenders before off–loading to supporting skipper Dave Starling, who crossed the whitewash to leave Grint with a simple conversion.
Hooker Matt Ashton, who had been busy all half, then took up the baton and burst into the open before linking with the supporting Grint, who spread the ball wide for winger Nick Harvey to steam in at the corner. Grint’s unsuccessful conversion attempt brought the half to a close with Rasen holding a 19–10 lead.
An early Grint penalty two minutes into the second half extended the lead, but then Rasen suffered from indiscipline.
Ashton made another run to seemingly put Cole in for a score, but this was ruled out for an earlier knock on and then an inappropriate remark cost Rasen the chance to contest the scrum as Peterborough were awarded a penalty instead of the set piece.
Flanker Ben Chamberlin was banished to the sin bin for not rolling away at a tackle and four minutes later substitute Simon Marwood joined his teammate to leave Rasen down to 13 for the second week in a row.
Peterborough took full advantage and from an attacking scrum, fly half Low cut through a cavernous hole in the Rasen defence to score under the posts before landing the conversion to bring his side to within one score.
Rasen made light of their numerical inferiority as the visitors transgressed to allow Grint to add a further penalty kick before the red and greens administered the coup de grace.
A penalty kick to touch loaded the formidable catch and drive where Chamberlin, returning from the sin bin, was driven over with his side still a man down. Grint continued his fine kicking form with a sweetly struck conversion to put Rasen out of sight with four minutes remaining.
However, Peterborough were not content to accept their fate and continued to attack. Low once again darted through the diaphanous home defence to create the space for substitute centre James Gill to run in a consolation try with Low’s successful conversion bringing the game to an end.
This was another patchy performance with good play interspersed with some poor, not least of which was more indiscipline. There was another let off as tactical naivety from the opposition didn’t take full advantage of a 13 man Rasen for the second week running.
The pack worked well again and won the forward battle, particularly in the set scrum, but worryingly both locks had to leave the field through injury. Never the less that’s three wins out of four and sees Rasen in fifth position in the league table giving them something to build on. With tougher fixtures looming in October time will tell if lessons have been absorbed.
This week Rasen travel to newly promoted Market Bosworth, who have had a mixed start to the season with one win, a draw and two defeats.
Rasen: Starling C, Ashton, Cole, Mills, Thornes, Chamberlin, Starling D, Dearden L, Starling M, John, Everton P, Grint, Eddell, Harvey, Ward
Subs: Inman, Marwood (both used), Bemrose (not used)
Peterborough: Harrison S, Chapman, O’Connell, Crooks B, Harlock, McMenemy, Crooks S, Kolakawski, Roe, Low, Sansby, Van De Merwe, Colley, Kimber, Redhead
Subs: Gill, Harrison M, Loades (all used)