Lezignan turn over Workington Town in Challenge Cup
Last updated at 15:00, Monday, 09 March 2009
Workington Town 6 Lezignan 18: Lezignan were certainly in the pink – and not just their strip – following a battling defeat of Workington Town in appalling conditions on Saturday night.
The French outfit dumped their hosts unceremoniously out of the Carnegie Challenge Cup in weather more suited to pigs and ducks than people.
With standing water across the pitch, it was left to Lezignan’s big pack to overcome their opposition and power forward on the boggy field – which they did to good effect.
Conditions were never going to allow free flowing rugby with wind and rain gusting across Derwent Park throughout the game.
But the visitors adapted quicker and played some entertaining rugby – led in the opening quarter by crafty half back James Wynne and forwards Adel Fellous, Alaster Brown and Phillipe Laurent.
Town could never be faulted for their efforts throughout the game but they could not find a way to break through.
Hooker Darren King had a great 80 minutes, his first full game since returning from injury, and led the way in the Town ranks. Stephen Dawes also had flashes of brilliance but the weather denied many chances for the ball to be swung out to the three-quarters. And Neil Frazer looked solid again as the last line of defence, with Jarrad Stack again putting in some strong runs in the pack.
In just the sixth minute Wynne missed an opportunity for an early lead for Lezignan, who brought a vociferous small travelling support with them.
The visitors were given a penalty for holding down but the wind whipped away the kick and Stephen Dawes collected it behind the Town line and brought it away. Lezignan continued to pressure Town and a final kick from stand-off Aurelien Cologni just went over the dead ball line.
Town had to endure three defensive sets on the belt end as Lezignan increased the tempo and forced two drop-outs in succession.
But a great kick from Carl Forber gave Town some breathing room as he used the wind to good effect and booted it downfield, well into the Lezignan half.
Forber then tried to get Town back into the game with a neat chip through by the Lezignan line but it just went dead before the chasing Steve Roper could reach it.
Then, on 13 minutes, Lezignan finally got their breakthrough. It started from Wynne who broke right through the middle of the defence before slipping the pass out to the supporting Alaster Brown and he slid across the try line.
This time Wynne made no mistake with the goal and Lezignan had a 6-0 advantage.
Dawes then raised the Town spirits with a superb run, jinking right through the defenders and nearly reaching the try line on his own.
But, with the defence closing in, he passed to the supporting King, who was held just short.
However, tempers frayed soon after and a brawl between both sides ended with James Robinson in the sin bin for Town and Wynne also missing 10 minutes for Lezignan.
But the visitors were permanently reduced to 12 men as Phillippe Laurent was shown red by referee Craig Halloran.
This did not stop the French outfit though, as they bounced right back with a try for full-back Jarred Taylor minutes later.
Cologni added the extras with Wynne still cooling his heels on the sidelines and Lezignan were 12-0 in front.
And they extended that further before the break, to ensure Town would have an uphill struggle in the latter stages.
It was Taylor again who sneaked in between the Town defenders to touch down, three minutes before the hooter and the conversion was missed for a 16-0 lead.
Town turned around with the wind in their faces and it was never going to be an easy task – as they found out.
Lezignan made it 18-0 with a penalty from the boot of Wynne shortly after the restart as he now had the wind in his favour.
Town had their chances and put pressure on the visitors’ line but could not find the final ball to get through, with some mistakes, aided by the conditions.
Forber was put through a great gap to raise spirits once again but the final ball went astray.
Then King surged upfield but again the ball was lost and fans wondered if Town would get any points on the board – which they deserved for their efforts.
It looked as though Forber’s record for scoring in every consecutive match for 34 games could be halted - but there was light at the end of the tunnel.
Town finally got their breakthrough with two minutes to go. Powerful forward Jarrad Stack drove forward and twisted his way across the line to give the scoreline a fairer look.
Then Forber stepped up and made sure of the extras to say he has now scored in 35 successive games and the scoreline read 18-6 to the visitors.
Town were disappointed to go out of the competition but will now look towards their final Northern Rail Cup game at Swinton Lions on Wednesday night – to finally pick up their first win of the season.
Town: Frazer, Dawes, Beattie, Mossop, Marshall, Forber, Roper, Benjafield, King, Brindle, Whitehead, Coupar, Hobson. Subs (all used): Hodgson, Smith, Robinson, Stack.
Try: Stack; Goal: Forber (1).
Lezignan: Taylor, Mazard, Hession, Bringuier, Bourrel, Cologni, Wynne, Beattie, Lacans, Fellous, Laurent, Clottes, Brown. Subs (all used): Manessi, Ancely, Tisseyre, Rovira.
Tries: Taylor (2), Brown; Goals: Wynne (2), Cologni (1).
Referee: Craig Halloran (Dewsbury)
Star Man: Darren King.
First published at 11:34, Monday, 09 March 2009
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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