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Henley tame Lions; HENLEY 15 RUGBY LIONS 12.

RUGBY Lions struggled to get any rhythm as they slipped to a narrow defeat against the bottom side Henley.

Lions could not match the pace of Henley even though they outscored them by two tries to nil.

After five minutes Rugby kicked a penalty for touch and Tim Collier was driven over for a 5-0 Lions lead.

Lions conceded a series of penalties to allow Henley good position. Chris Jones then went off side and Fabian kicked the 26th minute penalty for 3-5 to Lions.

Rugby were rocked by the loss of Tovo through injury and then Collier to the sinbin.

Fabian punished Lions further with a penalty to take Henley 6-5 ahead.

When Lions Chris Richards intercepted, the referee let him run 75 metres to touch down, Davies' conversion taking Lions 6-12 ahead.

However, Fabian kicked three further penalties to leave Lions trailing 15-12.

A penalty from Fabian brought Henley straight back into the game. They drew level on the hour from Fabian's fourth penalty. A sustained Henley attack produced another penalty which Fabian kicked to leave Lions trailing 15-12.

Rugby were able to play much of the game in the opposition half but their attacks' looked rather pedestrian and carried little threat.

After five minutes, Rugby surprisingly kicked a 28 metre penalty for touch. Tim Collier was then driven over from five metres for a 5-0 Lions lead.

When Rugby tried the same tactic seven minutes later, Henley this time held out strongly.

In fact, Henley started to take the initiative with a fine 50 metre break by Rick Van Zyl who was forced into touch just short of the line. Another Henley attack came to nothing before home full back Jon Fabian missed a straightforward penalty on 18 minutes.

Lions conceded a series of penalties to allow Henley good ground position. Chris Jones then went off side and Fabian kicked the 26th minute penalty for 3-5 to Lions.

Now Henley started to concede penalties themselves, giving Rugby three five metre line-outs. A long pass nearly put Nopera Stewart through but Lions were penalised for not releasing.

Errors on both sides was producing an even game but no real fluency. Rugby were rocked by the loss of Tovo through injury and then Collier to the sinbin on 31 minutes for persistent off side, Fabian punishing Lions further with a subsequent penalty to take Henley 6-5 ahead.

Rugby mounted a series of attacks as the first half ended but found Henley secure in defence. A Richard Davies penalty from 40 metres hit the post to leave Lions with an uphill struggle to win this game.

Rugby were lucky to score soon after the restart. Henley were attacking with a penalty signalled for them. When Lions replacement Chris Richards intercepted, the referee let him run 75 metres to touch down, Davies' conversion taking Lions 6-12 ahead on 45 minutes.

A 38 metre penalty from Fabian brought Henley straight back into the game.

Lions continued to put themselves under pressure with errors and then suffered a second yellow card, this time for Ben Lewitt. Fabian missed the subsequent penalty, and then Henley somehow failed to score from a blistering left wing attack.

Henley did draw level on the hour from Fabian's fourth successful penalty. A sustained Henley attack finally produced another penalty which Fabian kicked to leave Lions trailing 15-12 with 15 minutes left. Rugby were able to play much of the game in the opposition half but their attacks' looked rather pedestrian and carried little threat.

A final flourish by Rugby, inspired by a Davies run, came to nothing with Lions penalised for crossing and Henley gratefully ran down the clock.

RUGBY Lions struggled to get any rhythm into their game as they slipped to defeat against the bottom side, Henley.

Lions could not match the pace and continuity of Henley even though Rugby outscored them by 2-0 in tries.

They welcomed back several players unavailable last week but none more so that Sam Tovo whose hard tackling immediately made an impact.

After five minutes, Rugby kicked a 28 metre penalty for touch. Tim Collier was then driven over from five metres for a 5-0 Lions lead.

When Rugby tried the same tactic seven minutes later, Henley this time held out strongly.

In fact, Henley started to take the initiative with a fine 50 metre break by Rick Van Zyl who was forced into touch just short of the line. Another Henley attack came to nothing before home full back Jon Fabian missed a straightforward penalty on 18 minutes.

Lions conceded a series of penalties to allow Henley good ground position. Chris Jones then went off side and Fabian kicked the 26th minute penalty for 3-5 to Lions.

Now Henley started to concede penalties themselves, giving Rugby three five metre line-outs. A long pass nearly put Nopera Stewart through but Lions were penalised for not releasing.

Errors on both sides was producing an even game but no real fluency. Rugby were rocked by the loss of Tovo through injury and then Collier to the sinbin on 31 minutes for persistent off side, Fabian punishing Lions further with a subsequent penalty to take Henley 6-5 ahead.

Rugby mounted a series of attacks as the first half ended but found Henley secure in defence. A Richard Davies penalty from 40 metres hit the post to leave Lions with an uphill struggle to win this game.

Rugby were lucky to score soon after the restart. Henley were attacking with a penalty signalled for them. When Lions replacement Chris Richards intercepted, the referee let him run 75 metres to touch down, Davies' conversion taking Lions 6-12 ahead on 45 minutes.

A 38 metre penalty from Fabian brought Henley straight back into the game.

Lions continued to put themselves under pressure with errors and then suffered a second yellow card, this time for Ben Lewitt. Fabian missed the subsequent penalty, and then Henley somehow failed to score from a blistering left wing attack.

Henley did draw level on the hour from Fabian's fourth successful penalty. A sustained Henley attack finally produced another penalty which Fabian kicked to leave Lions trailing 15-12 with 15 minutes left.

Rugby were able to play much of the game in the opposition half but their attacks' looked rather pedestrian and carried little threat.

A final flourish by Rugby, inspired by a Davies run, came to nothing with Lions penalised for crossing and Henley gratefully ran down the clock.
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Title Annotation:Rugby Union
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Oct 21, 2001
Words:1078
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