With Grasshoppers Development XV pulling out on Friday the Lions were left without a fixture for all of fifteen minutes, luckily our old rivals Twickenham Bulldogs were also without a fixture, problem solved.
James was given captaincy for the day and the Lions kicked off heading towards the River.
The game started badly for Lions with scrum half Ryan injuring his knee Angert moved to nine; and Ryan would not be the only Lion to come off the pitch prematurely. Alex was the next to come off with an ankle and with scrums being uncontested this gave Lions some chance to attack. Further disaster struck when deep inside the Lions twenty two James kick was charged down and Bulldogs scored, luckily for James he would not receive the coveted DOD.
Lions responded quickly James making amends for his earlier error darting down the left hand side and scoring in the corner. Bulldogs got the next though Paul went over in the corner and this set the tempo for a see-souring game. Bulldogs scored again and then number eight Dan Martin powered over, with this score Dan becomes the first Lions forward to score in the 2017/18 Campaign. In a fractious first half with many penalties given away the Lions utilised the lineout, with Jon Bird making great impact in this area of the game.
First half score Bulldogs 19-17 Whitton Lions
Lions reshuffled at half time Southern Paul turning from spectator to participant in the centre and he made his impact felt at centre. Lions continued to press with the backline James going over for his second, Bulldogs then scored again before Jon Bird kicked a penalty nudging the Lions ahead by a point 24-25.
Disaster struck again when Graeme and Dan went in for the tackle, there will always be a mystery as to how Graeme with a scrum cap received a head wound but Dan with his Putin head walked away.
Bulldogs swung the game back in their favour with concerted pressure resulting in a penalty which was taken quickly and they went over in the corner and from the conversion to 31-25. In the last seven minutes Lions were pushing but could not break through after consecutive scrums. Then the moment which may be one of the best DOD’s of the Lions history occurred, Dan Saxby received the ball turned his back to the opposition and flung the ball behind him, the pass was so forward it went past the Bulldogs full back. From the scrum the Bulldogs kicked the ball of the field to end the game, similar to last year’s game against Bulldogs one that got away.
Despite the defeat Lions remain top of League six and undefaced in the League, other results in League six mean lions have a ten point cushion between their nearest rivals Twickenham. Next week the league takes a break for the cup unfortunately the Lions are not headed for the South of France, but face Ealing Exiles.
1 Jim 2 Scar head 3 Alex
4 Southern Steve 5 Zak
6 Jon 7 Gareth 8 Dan M
10 Dan S 12 Angert/Southern Paul 13 James
11 JJ 14 Hal 15 Irish Paul
17 Mark Given