National League 2 South
There were five changes to the previous week’s starting lineup when Albanians journeyed north last Saturday but this caused no lack of confidence in the ranks as kickoff time approached. This had changed dramatically by the interval and the visitors faced a second period 26 points down.
There wasn’t a great deal to separate the teams in terms of performance in the first half as both sides settled into uncomplicated rhythms. The difference was in relative intensity and Lions were consistently that bit faster than OAs in almost everything they did and in modern rugby intensity in approach and precision in action are paramount.
All this must be allied to discipline and Albanians will rue their laxity in this department, conceding twelve penalties and two yellow cards in the afternoon.
By contrast Leicester made few mistakes and, particularly in the first half, employed a simple, uncomplicated method and their team confidence grew massively as a result. By the time OAs followed suit it was far too late and the contest was lost. It was worth noting that when finally Albanians applied themselves as they had against Bury there was little to choose between the sides.
Crucially once a side is ‘on a roll’ and putting pressure on beleaguered opponents, morale surges and training moves seem to fall into place. OAs have now been on both sides of this equation in just two weeks and attitude will decide how the squad performs against Sutton next Saturday at Woollams.
Luke Veebel opened the scoring with six minutes gone and No8 Nick Cairns drove over at the end of the first quarter. Lock Ed Sumpter scored an astonishing hattrick, the last of which just after the hour mark encouraged Ashley Illston to score another second row try, this time for the As. Will Ward crossed for the final try with eighteen minutes still to play. Loydall and Taylor converted four tries between them and Joe Butler improved the solitary Albanian score.
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