Leighton Buzzard plough their way through the mud to win in Leicester.
Leicester Vipers 7 Leighton Buzzard 13
Leighton Buzzard made their fourth trip to Leicester this season, this time to play mid table Leicester Vipers. The conditions were not ideal for running rugby with the main pitch unplayable and large parts of the second pitch inches deep in mud and water. The home side were kept busy sweeping out puddles before the start of the game.
The conditions meant that the game was very stop start with a lot of handling errors on both sides, Vipers kept the visitors out after a buzzard break down the left hand a few minutes into the game. The home side then forced their way down into the Buzzard 22m where it was the turn of the Buzzards defence to keep out the Vipers attack. After 20 minutes Vipers had a chance to put the first points on the board with a penalty but the kick went wide.
Leighton then fought back into the Vipers half and won a penalty which was kicked into the corner. From the resulting lineout Buzzards drove forwards with a number of rucks before Reece Harris Smith went over the first points of the game. The swirling wind stopped the conversion but buzzards were 0-5.
5 minutes later Vipers gained a penalty on the Buzzards 10m line. The kick missed touch and Buzzards started to counter, but the referee blew up and made Vipers retake the kick. Touch was not missed this time and from the resulting lineout catch and drive vipers went over and scored a converted try. 7-5. A missed penalty on the stroke of half time for the buzzards meant that Buzzards went into the break 7-5 down.
In the second half both teams decided that kicking was the better option and the game was played mainly between the 22m areas. Vipers brought on replacements up front to try and control the game in muddy conditions but, after a series of drives from the forwards, fullback Harri Sayer went over for the Buzzards second try of the game. Conversion again was missed making it 7-13.
With minutes to go and Vipers throwing everything at Buzzards, scrum half Brett was given a yellow for a side entry at a maul near the Buzzards line. From the resulting penalty the home side could not get over what was left of the whitewash and the final whistle was blown.
Not a pretty day at the office and conditions did not suit the travelling players but Leighton continue to lead the table with an eight point gap to nearest rivals Belgrave and six games left.
Next week Leighton are away again at Long Buckby who need all the points they can get to steer clear of the relegation zone.