No escape for the Lions
By Doug Bridgeman
The Blues continued their fine run of form with a comprehensive 24-54 win at Rugby Lions at the weekend.
With the end of the season only 4 matches away, and a guaranteed home play-off place at stake, the Blues were in no mood to relinquish there hold on top spot in Midlands 1 East, after Paviors closed the gap to 5 points the weekend before.
Kettering began the game at a furious pace and skipper George Newman crashed over after several minutes of intense pressure on the Lions line. Joe Daniel converted to open up a 7 point lead after 3 minutes.
5 minutes later, and with no respite for the home side, Daniel himself scored wide out and converted his own try, for a 14 point lead.
With less than 15 minutes gone, a wonderfully floated wide pass from Daniel was willingly accepted by Ed Drake-Lee and the young Colt crossed in the corner. Daniels exceptional conversion sailed through the posts and Kettering were 0-21 to the good with less than a quarter of the game gone.
Lions responded and scored a try under the posts, which was inexplicably missed, to reduce the gap to 16 points. 5-21.
Steve Fraher was next to cross from close range. Daniels conversion attempt this time drifted wide, but the Blues lead was extended to 5-26.
With half-time approaching Daniel scored his second try of the game, adding the extra's to send the Blues into a 5-33 lead at the break.
The second half began as the first and Josh Plowright burst through for a try, again converted by Daniel, 5-40, before some slack defence allowed the home number 8 to score an unconverted try. 10-40.
By this point Kettering were ringing the changes and this led to some disruption, but the Blues continued to dominate and Bruce Keir unselfishly offloaded to Joe Newman for the centre to score and Alex Bayley then crossed to take the Blues over the 50 point mark. Daniel added the extra's to both scores, to complete another exceptional kicking display, and a personal 24 point haul. 10-54
Lions never gave up and scored two late tries, both of which were converted to leave the final score:
Rugby Lions 24 - 54 Kettering
RAJ Man of the Match: Josh Plowright