South Leicester are Hoppers opponents this coming Saturday and will be hosting a visiting side desperate for some sort of reward from their long journey south east.
The home side sit comfortably in mid table, similar to last weeks opponents Tynedale and have settled themselves into this league alongside near neighbours Leicester Lions of whom Hoppers still have to face twice in the few remaining games this season.
When South Leicester visited Lightfoot Green at the end of October last year, the game was a very close affair with the visitors running out winners come the final whistle by just two points thanks to a late try from replacement Jacob Heath. This was another game in which Hoppers led for long periods, letting a crucial lead slip away during its final stages.
Last week’s heavy defeat at the hands of Tynedale came in a game which Hoppers looked to have a good chance of some success during a first half. The visitors pack was having a tough time and Lewis Allen’s boot did the business for Hoppers. However a try from Niall Crosley late in the half was to be their last score before a converted try by the visitors on the stroke of half time set them on their way to a comfortable victory.
After battering away at the door for a number of years, ‘South’ eventually gained promotion into National 2 North for the start of last season. Their drive for promotion saw them lose just one game before finishing as Champions by some considerable margin over Hinckley who eventually gained promotion for the beginning of this season.
The 2015-2016 meetings were the first at senior level between the two clubs and Hoppers have yet to taste victory over the Leicestershire side. The drawn game at Lightfoot Green last season was their only success and they will be travelling to Welford Road this Saturday looking to overcome the ignominy of returning pointless from last season’s visit to ‘South’s’ ground. The game was played in a howling gale and driving rain showers in front of a meagre attendance which was no doubt the result of the terrible weather on the day.
In all three meetings between the two sides, South Leicester have relied on their large pack dominating proceedings whilst the half backs capitalise on the fruits of their labour and there’s nothing to indicate that this successful method will be altered for this weeks game.
Words by Mike Forshaw, photo by Mike Craig