Last-gasp loss for gallant Lions
THE sun shone on Success in what was a lovely winter’s day for rugby, as the Lions hosted Palmyra at the Lions’ Den at the weekend.
After inflicting heart break on the Harrisdale Arks several weeks ago in a come-frombehind win in the final minute of the game, it was the Lions’ turn to feel such heartache as Palmyra snatched victory with the final play of the game 25-22.
The game was a brilliant contest and a salient reminder of just how little separates the Premiership teams in the lower half of the table.
With no Force boys available to any local clubs this week, both teams had to rely on their regular starters to get the job done. Although outsized by the taller and heavier Palmyra backline, the Lions’ new-look backline was not to be outmuscled or – except with the final play of the game – outclassed.
Correcting their errors of execution from last week, the Lions looked sharper in attack, with English recruit Gwyn Parks putting on a masterful display and distributing the ball well, while new wingers Isi Pedersen (returning to the Lions after some time away) and Jason Merrie (back in after playing overseas) both fitted well into the Lions’ backline.
However, the shining light for the Lions was the set piece, with debutant hooker Joe Claes performing well in the unaccustomed role and the Lions’ forwards as a whole dominating the more storied Palmyra pack.
Fighting their way into the game to lead 22-20 in the final minute, the Lions sought to keep Palmyra locked down on their half and see out the game but it was not to be and Pally sallied from deep in their 22 to score from long range after the Lions made a fatal misread in defence to see Palmyra run out winners. Sam Nunn