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Atherstone All Smiles Despite Defeat

Rugby Lions 1st XV 85 – 3 Atherstone 1st XV

Last Updated: Mar 9, 2015 03:45pm
Atherstone, North Warwickshire
By Julie Douglas
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If pride, passion, heart, commitment and spirit could score points in rugby games, there is no doubt that Atherstone would have won this match hands down.  Facing a rampant Rugby Lions, the men-in–black put their bodies on the line to try and hold back wave after wave of attack from the league’s runaway leaders.  Out of context, the score-line may look like Atherstone failed to turn up however their opponents have stormed through the league winning all previous matches, scoring 604 points with only 78 scored against them.

Tom Kilburn, Forward Coach for Rugby Lions, summed up the Ratcliffe Road outfit’s performance saying:

‘Atherstone have a team full of warriors who had pride in the badge on their shirt. The great spirit and respect both sides showed for each other are the foundations on which our great game was built'

Even the referee was full of praise for the Atherstone, telling captain Phil Mulvey after the match:

‘In all the years I've refereed, I've never seen a team take such a beating but show so much heart and spirit. When you lads walked off that pitch you were all smiling and showed the proper respect to the opposition. You should be proud, you showed what rugby is all about.’

From the outset the home side used their speed merchants to maraud through the defending black shirts scoring a quick converted try within the first five minutes. For the next fifteen minutes the visitors held firm with both forwards and backs putting in heroic tackles.  The home side ran in three converted tries in quick succession racking up the score against their opponents to 28-0.  Atherstone continued to maintain their work rate in defence however Rugby Lions were consistent in their attacks scoring a further two converted tries bringing the half time score to 42-0.

The second half opened with the hosts running in a quick unconverted try.  The men in black worked hard to create opportunities for their own attacks however the Lions were not about to concede their strangle-hold on the game.  The hosts added another converted try to take the score to 54-0.  The only points for Atherstone came from the boot of Andy Redman who slotted over a penalty kick.  Two more converted took the score 66-3 however the men-in-black kept pushing to try and add points themselves only to be met with sterling defence.   On the 67th minute Atherstone went down to 14 men but once again the men-in-black showed their spirit responding with a good attack only to give away a penalty allowing Lions to once again bombard Atherstone’s whitewash.  Three more tries, two of which were converted took the final score to 85-3.

There are many positives in this match, not least the fact that at no point did any player drop their head, nor were there any disagreements on the pitch.  The men-in-black worked as a team right to the final whistle.  After the match the team went to their opposition and clapped them to acknowledge the result and also the fact that there is little doubt that the will be promoted as champions.

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