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[30 SEP 00] RUGBY LIONS MATCH REPORT - NATIONAL LEAGUE TWO
West Hartlepool (8) 8
Rugby Lions (24) 57
BY ALISTAIR BRUTEN

Rugby are top of National League Two again after this comprehensive defeat of basement club West Hartlepool.

The Lions might have left the sixth form college that presently serves as West's base feeling they really should have accumulated even more points, such was their dominance.

On a small pitch, the teams initially exchanged tries. Rugby's Dave Muckalt adding to his tally to become one of the division's leading scorers.

But after the first 20 minutes the Lions began to dominate and were able to score regularly enough to make the outcome a formality.

As last week, the Lions pack imposed themselves on their Hartlepool counterparts and fly-half Barry Muir ran the West defence ragged, scoring two tries himself in a personal total of 22 points.

Garry Becconsall also scored before half-time, a West penalty taking the Lions lead to 24-8 at the interval.

Matt Tassell retired with a cut forehead but West lost two men to the sin-bin soon after the restart. Locks Rob Field and Rob McKillop helped themselves to a try each.

Rugby had Becconsall sin-binned but Field was still able to score his second try, followed by Mark Jasnikowski. Becconsall returned to take a tap penalty and stroll over the line, Muir's conversion completing the rout.

Despite the emphatic scoreline Lions will be well aware that they did not play as well as against Rosslyn Park the week before and that they will need to raise their game next week for their Tetley Cup opener against top team Harrogate.

The Lions will be boosted for that tie having already beaten the Yorkshire side 19-12 in the opening game of the season. However, Rugby were impressed by Harrogate and the teams are now equal on points at the top of the table.

MATCH FACTS

RUGBY LIONS:
Quick, Saunders, Jasnikowski, Tassell (Withey), Watson, Muir, Becconsall, Shadbolt, Dunn (Woolrich), B Smith, McKillop (Thompson), Field, Wingham, Tovo, Muckalt

SCORING:
Rugby - tries: Jasnikowski, Muir 2, Becconsall 2, McKillop, Field 2, Muckalt / conversions: Muir 6.

LEAGUE POSITION AFTER THIS MATCH:
Rugby Lions - 1st
West Hartlepool - 14th (bottom)
   

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CWN / Sport / Rugby / Rugby Lions  / 30 Sep 00
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