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[11 NOV 00] RUGBY LIONS MATCH REPORT - NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION 2
Rugby Lions (7) 20
Preston Grasshoppers (5) 8
BY ALISTAIR BRUTEN

Rugby Lions recorded their fifth win of the season but it was not a match or Lions performance to compare with the previous week's game against Manchester.

Rugby dominated possession for the first 15 minutes but could not find a way through with their backs or even their much vaunted pack.

When Preston finally got out of their own half, Lions were fortunate to escape unpunished when Barry Muir dropped the ball behind his tryline and the Grasshoppers missed a straightforward penalty.

Preston lost Parkinson to the sinbin and Lions capitalised with a try on 29 minutes by second row Rob Field which Muir converted. However, Preston replied four minutes later when Dewhurst charged down Muir's clearance and followed up to score although the conversion was missed.

The game lacked quality in the wintry conditions and Rugby reached half time with a somewhat shaky 7-5 advantage.

Grasshoppers looked more confident in the second half and took the lead when they kicked a penalty after Lions' Paul Shadbolt was sinbinned for playing the ball in an offside position.

Rugby replied with two good penalties from Muir for a 13-8 lead but then had to withstand a commendable period of attack by Preston, who have an undistinguished record in the league.

Shadbolt was lucky not to be sent off when he repeated his earlier offence but only got a talking to from a referee who seemed to give Lions every advantage throughout the match.

Rugby secured the win in the 80th minute when captain Oscar Wingham finished off a forwards' move and Muir converted, leaving the final score looking more comfortable than Rugby really deserved.

MATCH FACTS

RUGBY LIONS:
Coley; Saunders; Jasnikowski; Campbell; Porteous; Muir; Becconsall; Shadbolt; Dunn; Greenbury; Collier; Field; Tovo; Wingham; Muckalt
Replacements: Bailey; Woolrich; Thompson

SCORING:
Tries - Field, Wingham
Conversions - Muir (2)
Penalties - Muir (2)
   

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CWN / Sport / Rugby / Rugby Lions / 11 Nov 00
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