LEAMINGTON fell to their first defeat of the 2016/17 season after losing 7-41 at home to a well-marshalled Rugby Lions outfit on Saturday.
Moorefields hosted what proved to be a scintillating Midlands 2 West (South) fixture at Moorefields and it was Rugby who started brightly with a series of dangerous attacks before they scored the opening try of the match on ten minutes which was converted.
Leamington were having to work hard to keep the opposition and Roger Moorhouse pulled off a superb try saving tackle to keep his line intact but shortly after Rugby went further ahead with another converted score.
There was more hardship for Leamington as they tried respond with a promising attack, only to see the ball intercepted by an alert Rugby Centre for another converted try.
From the restart, Leamington produced their best move of the match so far. Daplyn claimed the ball and set off on a run, supported by Lewis Kelsey. The pair worked hard to get possession to Moorhouse, whose injection of pace created havoc in the Rugby defence, forcing a penalty for a high tackle.
Daplyn once again took the initiative and this time it was the Rugby defence that had to delve deep to keep their try line clear.
In the closing seconds of the half, Rugby took advantage of a penalty to kick themselves further ahead at 0-24.
Rugby were well ahead on points but they were nevertheless being made to work hard to retain this position by some very resolute play from Leamington.
Scott Peters’ introduction brought increased stability to the scrum and both Tom Lane and skipper Craig Smith were working well in the lineout.
This solid play from the pack was enabling scrum-half, Patrick Northover, more time on the ball, to get his backline moving.
The hosts however did have trouble all afternoon in coping with the pace of the Rugby attack and from a promising move deep in the Rugby quarter, they lost possession and in the blink of an eye they were back on the defensive.
Shuttleworth seemed to have saved the day with a well-timed tackle in front of his posts, however, such was the strength of Rugby’s support play, they had an overlap and against the run of play, secured another try.
This inventive play from the visitors, earned them two further scores before the end of the game, but not before Leamington showed their class with a try of their own.
Moorehouse broke up the far wing and was impeded unfairly. Tom Jewitt took the opportunity to kick his side into a good position and when the ball was won at the lineout, Lewis Kelsey forced his way through for the touchdown and Jewitt nailed the conversion to round off an excellent passage of play for Leamington.
Leamington return to league rugby on October 1 when they travel to Silhillians.