48 English Lions
English Lions Saturday 21st July 2012 Falkirk RFC Att:
Finn Lamont (2)
Caldon Bravo (3)
Sean Wildbore (2)
Jordan Preciouse (6)
Lions too strong for Scotland
SCOTLAND “A” 14 v 48 ENGLISH LIONS
Scotland A began their Community Game Four Nations campaign with defeat as the English Lions ran out comfortable winners at Sunnyside.
The Lions already had a game under their belt having soundly beaten Wales in their opening match while Scotland’s opener in Ireland had succumbed to the weather.
But such was the slickness and technical ability of the visitors it is debatable whether the extra match practice would have made a difference.
Scotland made the livelier start of the two sides, forcing numerous repeat sets and seeing a fair amount of the ball, and when they forced a penalty in the Lions half, winger Finn Lamont crossed on the left to give them the lead.
Full back Alex Stevens was unable to add the conversion but the hosts led 4-0 after eight minutes.
The lead lasted just three minutes.
Scotland were penalised on the set after the kick-off, and from the resulting set wing Oliver Johnson crossed on the left to square up the match.
Full back Jordan Precious was also wide with his conversion attempt, leaving the scores tied at 4-4.
The visitors were slowly but surely taking control and claimed their second try of the afternoon on 16 minutes when they forced a turnover in the Scotland half after a fifth-tackle punt and scored on a kick play, by Caldon Bravo on the resulting set, scoring the first of what would be a hat trick.
Precious added the conversion this time to put the visitors up 10-4.
Four minutes later lock forward Sean Wildbore scored the first of his two tries when the Lions once again forced a turnover in midfield and the forward applied the finishing touch to a patient set.
Worse was then to follow for the hosts as on the kick-off set second row Caldon Bravo raced clear to score under the posts.
Precious converted both to take the score to 22-4.
The visitors extended their lead five minutes before half time, when the Lions won another penalty and after another patient set on the Scotland line, Wildbore crossed on the left for his second try of the afternoon.
Precious’ conversion took the score to 28-4 in the visitors’ favour, which it remained at half time.
Scotland needed the first score of the second half to have any chance of getting back in the game, and they duly got it when Lamont intercepted a slack Lions pass and raced clear to score in the left corner.
Stevens converted this time to get the hosts back to 28-10 down.
This gave Scotland renewed impetus and they had another try shortly before the hour.
After their best spell of pressure so far in the match, substitute Calum Boyle scored on a kick play but Stevens was unable to add the conversion.
Three tries in twenty minutes is an attainable goal in Rugby League but it depends on keeping the opposition out at the other end and unfortunately Scotland were unable to do this.
After they were forced to kick, the English Lions worked upfield and Bravo sent scrum half Tony Baker racing clear for a try under the posts which Precious converted for a 34-14 lead after 62 minutes.
This effectively ended the game as a contest and the Lions put the icing on the cake with further tries from winger Peter Caddy, Bravo – who completed his hat trick – and hooker Nathan Kitson.
Precious added two more conversions to make the final score 48-14.
Scotland now face an uphill struggle to win the title they last held in 2010, while the English Lions must now surely be hot favourites to win the trophy.
SCOTLAND “A” – A Stevens; F Lamont, C Cockburn, C Borthwick, C Anderson; D Vernon, J Rice; C Jarvis, R Grady, T Murray, M Stewart, M Webster, P Coupar
Interchange: B Massey, C Boyle, R Festorazzi, T Wright
ENGLISH LIONS – J Precious; O Johnson, S King, C Gordon, P Caddy; R Smith, T Baker; D Dunwell, N Kitson, A Gallear, C Bravo, T Suffolk, S Wildbore
Interchange: M Meaden, L Roberts, D Kay, I Kerman