LANCASTER LIONS ROAR TO VICTOIRE -
The Lancaster Lions kicked off their Agapanthe 06 deployment with a resounding victory over FS Charles de Gaulle in their own back yard. Both teams met on a balmy winter's day in Toulon where excitement, during a Six Nations campaign, was high on both sides. Both sides managed to field an impressive squad of 20 players in what proved to be a high tempo yet good natured match. A tense first half saw little action to trouble the scorers until Lancaster went ahead thanks to a try from LPT 'Richie' Way who used superior speed to outsprint the French cordon. Way failed to convert claiming he had left his kicking boots back in the UK. The French rallied for the remainder of the first period but were pegged back in their own half. A beautiful try by LOM 'Max' Boyce, engineered from a superbly taken line out by DMEO Lt Matt Longman, awarded the Portsmouth Ship with her next score. The ball was skilfully passed out to the backs who made impressive ground before a little grubba kick allowed Boyce to collect the ball and storm over the line.Way failed in front of the posts yet again proving that Club Swingers cannot play rugby! Superior pack power and weight advantage saw the Lions withstand an onslaught from the spirited French team who were pushing hard for penalties. Half time was a welcome respite. With the score 10 - 0, Club Manager POMEM 'George' Logan, was in a situation that was in unfamiliar territory - a healthy lead! A rousing team talk ensured that all players remained focused and ready to go back out and extend their advantage. A rejuvenated French side skipped back onto the field and saw them dominate the early exchanges, pushing hard into Lancaster's half for the first time in the match. Quick hands and a well worked formation allowed them to find space in the Lancaster defence to reduce the deficit to 10 - 5. The French scrum half who also struggled to find his kicking boots had trouble in front of the posts, sent the ball narrowly wide of the uprights. After conceding the try Lancaster was rallied by calls from both Club and Pack captains. The 3rd try for the Ship saw power of Lancaster's forwards prevail. The French were yet again put under pressure on their own line causing a mistake which allowed SA 'Ronnie' Barker to pounce on the loose ball and score his first try for the Ship. Again Way's conversion sailed wide, much to the disappointment of the boisterous crowd. As the game drew to a close there was just enough time for show pony Way to run wide and outpace the tired Frenchmen for his 2nd try of the afternoon. Based on his earlier form, confidence was low that a conversion would be witnessed from such an acute angle. To everyone's surprise he watched on as the ball sailed through the posts. The score finally settled at 22 - 5 with the FS Charles de Gaulle team graciously accepting defeat. Despite his poor kicking form, Way was awarded Man of the Match. Understandably the French Flagship has asked for a rematch in Djibouti, no doubt this will be just as exciting as the first.