Sigonella RFC

The LIONS last match of the season was played under a bright blue sky in temperatures above 30C the Lions took on Sigonella RFC at their home ground at Carney Park, Naples Italy. The game was a full 80 minute match, which was testament to the fitness levels of both sides. The Lions taking the opportunity to debut a new fly half and an American guest player at prop.

The opening 10 minutes was very even with both sides providing both attacking opportunities and sound defensive lines. The two scrumhalves in particular enjoyed a keen and competitive rivalry around the scrum area and fringes of the breakdown. LIONS opened the scoring with a penalty awarded for a SIGONELLA offside that Dave Greninger (USN) duly converted. After some powerful forwards driving mauls Edward Johnson (USN) broke through the SIGONELLA defence to score the LIONS first try of the game on the 23rd minute. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful, but more forward power play on the 30th minute released Toby Gardner (UK) to score a try on debut, Dave Greninger was successful from the tee to give the LIONS a healthy lead at half time.

Half time score: NATO LIONS 15 - SIGONELLA RFC 0.

It took the LIONS only 6 minutes of the second half to score again. Dave Hill (UK) breaking from midfield with a powerful run to score under the posts, Dave Greninger claimed the extra points from in front of the posts to give the LIONS a 22 point advantage. After some forwards substitutions at half time, including the appearance of Player/Coach Mick Cowie (UK) the sheer physicality and fitness of the Lions forwards started to tell and they began to dominate at the scrum. A long period of sustained LIONS pressure resulted in the fullback Valentin Aleshynsky scoring in the corner on the 63rd minute. A trademark bullocking "rumble" down field from Mick Cowie almost resulted in another LIONS score, sadly Mick quite literally ran out of steam, mercifully for the spectators Mick's shorts remained in position, unlike his last try scoring effort!

The final 10 minutes were spent exclusively within the LIONS' half as SIGONELLA went in search of a consolation score, which they achieved with only 2 minutes of play remaining. An excellent finish to the LIONS' season.

Final score: NATO LIONS 27 - SIGONELLA RFC 5.

LIONS MoM - Dave Greninger (USN) with special praise for Toby Gardner (debut) and Nolan Hat & Zach Davis (both USN) in their 2nd game of rugby!

This match is part of the ‘You Play We Pay’ initiative.