Lion-hearted Leamington prove no match for promotion-chasing Rugby

Roger Moorhouse makes a crunching tackle during an excellent display from the Leamington full-back. Picture: Morris Troughton
Roger Moorhouse makes a crunching tackle during an excellent display from the Leamington full-back. Picture: Morris Troughton
  • Midlands Two West (South)
  • Leamington 7 Rugby Lions 41

A very capable Rugby Lions outfit will certainly be competing for the promotion places on this showing after a scintillating encounter at Moorfields in which Leamington more than played their part.

Rugby made a solid start with a series of quickfire attacks. A Tom Daplyn tackle stopped the first and then Gareth Shuttleworth was alert to snuff out a further incursion before Tom Jewitt got the ball clear to give Leamington a brief respite.

Another promising Rugby attack was brought to a halt as Leamington lock Tom Lane wrestled the ball from the visitors to secure possession.

With ten minutes on the clock, Rugby once again upped the tempo and, deep in the Leamington 22, were awarded a penalty.

As the referee played the advantage, they swept the ball out wide at pace to score a well-deserved converted try.

In these opening exchanges, Leamington were having to work hard to keep the opposition at bay and full-back Roger Moorhouse pulled off a superb try-saving tackle to keep his line intact.

However, shortly after, and with the hosts finding it difficult to work the ball clear, Rugby went further ahead with another converted score.

There was more hardship for Leamington as they tried to respond with a promising attack, only to see the ball intercepted by an alert Lions centre for another converted try.

From the restart, Leamington produced their best move of the match so far. Daplyn claimed the ball and set off on a run, supported by Lewis Kelsey. The pair worked hard to get possession to Moorhouse, whose injection of pace created havoc in the Rugby defence, forcing a penalty for a high tackle.

Daplyn once again took the initiative and this time it was the Rugby defence that had to delve deep to keep their line clear.

In the closing seconds of the half, Rugby took advantage of a penalty to kick themselves 24 points ahead at the interval.

While Rugby Lions were well ahead on points, they were nevertheless being made to work hard to retain this position by some very resolute play from Leamington.

The hosts, did, however, have trouble all afternoon in coping with the pace of the Rugby attack.

In a very promising move deep in the Rugby quarter, they lost possession and, in the blink of an eye, suddenly found themselves having to defend in their own 22.

Shuttleworth looked to have saved the day with a well-timed tackle in front of his posts, but such was the strength of Rugby’s support, they had an overlap and, against the run of play, secured another try.

This inventive play from the visitors earned them two further scores but not before Leamington showed their class with a try of their own.

Once again, Moorhouse broke up the far wing and was impeded, unfairly, by the Rugby defence. Tom Jewitt took the opportunity to kick his side into a good position and when the ball was won at the lineout, Lewis Kelsey forced his way through for the touchdown.

Jewitt nailed the conversion to round off an excellent passage of play for Leamington.