Buzzards well beaten by Peterborough

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Despite controlling territory for a substantial part of the second-half, Leighton Buzzard lost their latest league game away at Peterborough 41-14.

Whilst the Buzzards defeated their opponents early in the season, Peterborough are the form team of the league, winning their last seven games and not losing since early December.

There were warning signs for Leighton in the first minute. Peterborough kicked off and the ball was immediately knocked on - the resulting scrum was pushed back ten metres and a penalty conceded. Whilst this phase was well defended, it was five minutes before Buzzards got out of their half.

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Despite this early pressure it was Leighton who took the lead. Following good lineout possession and playing with a penalty advantage, fly-half Tom Winch put a grubber kick behind the home side’s defensive line. There was more than an element of good fortune as the bouncing ball hit the crossbar and fell to Jacob Dove to score. Tom Winch converted to put Buzzards seven points ahead after only eight minutes.

Buzzards were no match for Peterborough.Buzzards were no match for Peterborough.
Buzzards were no match for Peterborough.

Shortly afterwards Leighton came close to extending the lead with another chip through, but the difficult pick-up was knocked on with the try-line unguarded.

Slowly the scrum dominance was giving the home side many attacking opportunities. A splendid try-saving tackle by James Brett after 14 minutes kept the home side out but there was an inevitability about Peterborough’s first try three minutes later.

Choosing a scrum rather than a penalty, they drove over to reduce the deficit to 5-7.

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Shortly after Buzzards did have a chance to extend their lead – Calum Creber pouncing on a loose ball at a lineout but he was bundled into touch just short.

The home side’s tactic of straight running first phase before spreading the ball wide was now stretching the Buzzard defence. In a period of eight minutes they scored three tries; the second from their own twenty-two with excellent support work; and with two converted, Peterborough led 24-7.

Leighton cut the deficit with the last play of the half, good ball retention through a numbers of phases made space for Tom Winch to score unopposed. Winch converted his own try to leave the half-time score 24-14.

The second half started poorly for Buzzards, conceding a try after two minutes. After a period of forward driven pressure, a further Peterborough try was scored ten minutes later leaving Leighton trailing 34-10.

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With half an hour to go, things were looking ominous but suddenly Buzzards raised their game. Whilst the scrum remained an issue, the lineout, with Will Bennett prominent, was working well and Tom Winch was probing in the backs. Between the 15th and 35th minutes, Leighton maintained a significant territorial advantage. Whilst they came close to scoring during this period of pressure, they failed to cross the try line.

Finally, with almost the last play of the game, Peterborough threatened the Buzzard line. There was a certain inevitability that the clinical efficiency and confidence they had shown throughout the game would lead to their seventh try. The conversion made the final score 41-14.

This weekend Leighton welcome bottom side Peterborough Lions to Wrights Meadow for the last home league game of the season.