Leicester Lions 39 Clifton 20
Saturday 28th September 2019
League Points: 5-0
Leicester Lions show their class in the second half to beat previously undefeated Clifton.
Leicester Lions 39: Tries: Jamel Hamilton (5), Devon Constant (36, 74), Sam Benjamin (39), Max Johnson (41, 59), Ed Sumpter (79); Conversions: Greg Loydall (60, 79);
Clifton 20: Tries: Tom Jones (8), Luke Stratford (13), Chris Levesley (15); Conversions: Bradley Barnes (16); Penalties: Bradley Barnes (64);
Lions were expecting a tough game at TMDP Park against previously unbeaten Clifton. It was a pleasant mild afternoon at Blaby with a strong breeze blowing diagonally across the pitch, with Lions taking the advantage of the wind in the first half.
The game started with even interchanges, but on 5 mins Lions' Jamel Hamilton broke through from short distance to score a try.
Clifton had an effective powerful 10 minutes putting Lions under sustained pressure. Rapid try scoring by Tom Jones, Luke Stratford and Chris Levesley, with Bradley Barnes adding a conversion, put Clifton on the front foot with a 5-17 lead.
Clifton's Ricardo Cano was yellow carded for a technical offence on 35 mins.
Lions came back strongly in the last 5 minutes of the first half, with two running tries from the backs. Firstly, following up Lions’ pressure, the ball was worked across the pitch giving Devon Constant space on the wing to drive in for a try. Lions’ determined play continued for Sam Benjamin to speed through the Clifton defence to add his try.
Half Time: Leicester Lions 15 Clifton 17
In the first minute of the second half Lions' Ed Sumpter drove through, slipping the ball to Max Johnson, who ran in a try, for Lions to take a 20-17 lead.
On 59 mins Lions’ Max Johnson darted through the Clifton defence to score a try, with Greg Loydall adding a conversion, to open up Lions' lead to 27-17.
Barnes added a penalty for Clifton to keep them in the game at 27-20.
In the last ten minutes of the game Lions showed their commitment and skill with two rapid tries. A kick out of defence by Clifton was taken by Lions' Devon Constant, who powered his way along the wing to score his second try. The game was completed by an exciting driving run by Lions' Ed Sumpter for a try, with Loydall adding the conversion and making the score 39-20.
Leicester Lions 7 tries Clifton 3 tries
A well deserved win by Lions, successfully replying to Clifton's mid-game surge.
Lions' head coach, Gareth Collins said "We were expecting a tough game from Clifton. They gave us a testing afternoon, especially with their first half surge. I was proud of the way that the lads came back in the last 50 minutes of the game for a deserved win."
Following the game Leicester Lions were in fourth position in the league table, with Clifton in fifth position.
Teams: Order 15-9, 1-8, 16-20
Leicester Lions: Sam Benjamin, Kaz Henderson, Jamel Hamilton, Max Johnson, Devon Constant, Greg Loydall, James Stubbs, Will Roberts, Oli Taylor, Shaun Murray, Ed Sumpter, Will Ward, Ethan Godefroy, Jonny Murdoch, Nick Cairns
Replacements: James Whitcombe, Drew Rudkin, Simon Johnson, Alex Smit, Laurence Warren-West
Clifton: Cameron McDonald, Finlay Sharp, Chris Levesley, Sam Harrison, Tom Jones, Bradley Barnes, Mitchell Spencer, Ricardo Cano, Luke Stratford, Mark Roberts, Henry Harper, Matthew Hall, Michael Uren, Harry Bate, Niall Gibbons
Replacements: Charles Bullimore, Jack Williams, Archie Benson, Dan Broady, Kieran Griffiths
For further details consult www.ncarugby.com