Lions kick in to high gear
Rugby: Foothills second division club wins third in a row
By: By Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013 06:00 am
The Foothills Lions can thank a strong right boot for their third win in a row in the Calgary Rugby Union’s second division.
Foothills back Dan Larson was a perfect five-for-five in converts, adding a penalty kick and try for an 18-point effort in the Lions’ 38-21 victory over Lethbridge Rugby Club, on a scorching hot Saturday afternoon at the John Paul II Collegiate field in Okotoks.
Not bad for someone with zero kicking experience entering the season.
“I show up to practice a half-hour or hour early and try and figure things out, try different things out,” Larson said of kicking. “Kicking is weird, man, it’s like a golf swing. There’s so many different places to screw it up.
“I’ve just been doing the same thing over and over and I’m finally starting to get it.”
It took a while for the Lions to get it on Saturday. Lethbridge looked the more dangerous of the two opponents, meeting for the first time since their Calgary Rugby Union (CRU) icebreaker in May.
“We started out weak on defence. They had a couple big runs and only got one try out of it, but we were getting marched down,” Larson said. “They scored their second try and that’s when everything tightened up and the defence was good after that.
“And that’s what led to turnovers and breakdowns.”
When the Lions found their legs, they took firm control. First half trys from Larson, Jamie Mior, Mike Rinvold and Jordan Smith staked the hosts to a comfortable 31-7 lead at halftime.
Lions club captain Nathan Marquardt scampered in from 20 yards out to add to the lead midway through the second half before Lethbridge managed a consolation try on a blocked kick moments before the final whistle.
For Lions club coach Jim Ryan it was an excellent exhibition in atonement for the Division III Lions’ 26-14 loss to Bow Valley the night prior, a Foothills squad featuring largely the same roster.
“We lacked intensity so we had a chat last night after the game and again this morning,” Ryan said of the preparations for the Saturday tilt. “The boys came out intense. Our front row did very well in the scrums, set us the platform and we were on the front-foot.”
The victory brought Foothills back to the .500 mark at 5-5 in the CRU’s Division II. The Division III Lions next hit the pitch on Tuesday, Sept. 3 when they host the Calgary Knights. They then welcome the Calgary Canucks on Sept. 6. Both games are 7 p.m. starts. The Division II Lions square off with the Calgary Hornets on Sept. 7 at noon. All three contests are at John Paul II Collegiate.
For more information on the Lions go to foothillslionsrugbyclub.com