1st xv Match reports 2018 - 2019

1st xv v Peterborough 23rd March 2019





Despite a late second half comeback, Leighton Buzzard were well beaten by a strong Peterborough side, who are placed fifth in the competitive Midlands East 1 league. With availability and injury forcing Buzzards to select a much changed pack, Leighton struggled to gain possession and territory in the first half. However with the addition of experienced forward and club coach Tom Mowbray at half–time, Buzzards secured enough ball to marginally outscore their opponents in the second period.


Peterborough kicked off on a dry day with little or no breeze. Immediately Leighton were under pressure in their twenty-two – against a large pack and with new combinations in the lineout Buzzards struggled to secure possession. Leighton conceded two early tries – firstly from a quick tap after a scrum penalty and secondly when the Peterborough prop crashed through. With both tries converted, Leighton were 14-0 down with only seven minutes played.


Slowly Buzzards played their way into the game. Possession remained limited but when they had the ball, there were encouraging signs with Jack Whitehouse and Harri Sayer looking the most threatening runners. The defence remained resolute, epitomised by a brilliant try-saving tackle by Ashley Walsh, midway through the half.


However the Peterborough pack was continuing to exert pressure, threatening both Leighton scrum and lineout ball.  Despite the commitment in defence, there was a sense of inevitability as the home side added further tries in the twentieth-eighth and thirty-eighth minutes to lead 26-0 at half time.


Possession had been so limited that Buzzards had not reached the Peterborough twenty-two at all in the first half. This was to change quickly after the break. Buzzard coach Tom Mowbray brought himself on – immediately securing good lineout ball which the Buzzard pack drove towards the line. Whilst initially stopped short, it was the start of period of sustained pressure that ended when Leighton finally crossed the line. Unfortunately the referee had seen an obstruction through crossing and disallowed the score. Further attacks followed with Mike Robert prominent.


Whilst Peterborough remained a threat, it felt slightly against the run of play when the home side extended their lead to 33-0 with their fifth try after fourteen minutes. It could have been worse shortly afterwards, if not for excellent defence from Eddie Wiggins after a Peterborough kick and chase.


Midway through the half, Buzzards had a ten minute spell down to fourteen men after  Ash Walsh received a yellow card for dissent. However this spurred Buzzards on and they scored the best try of the game five minutes later. Jack Whitehouse picked up a loose ball in his twenty–two, made a fifty metre break before linking with Eddie Wiggins and then to Harri Sayer, to score in the corner.   Leighton were now finishing strongly and Adam Stacey added a further try which James Brett converted with five minutes to go. That proved to be the final score of the match, leaving Peterborough victorious at 33-12.


Whilst well beaten, this young Leighton side once again showed skill and enterprise to add to their indomitable spirit.  Buzzards remain in twelfth place and next week entertain eleventh placed Rugby Lions.