Leicester Falcons obtained revenge for their previous defeat as
they overcame Sandwell Steelers 31-13 at Wolverhampton Rugby Club.
The hugely important win keeps the Falcons in the playoff chase
with a run of home games to come.
Sandwell drew first blood, engineering a long drive down the field
behind running back James Jones-Cross, but were
stopped in the red zone and took a short field goal for 3 points.
Leicester equalised on their subsequent possession, a big pass from
Falcons quarterback Troy Lee to Taylor
Brown making up the majority of the yards, but also came
up short and Dan Burton, who had a 100% kick success
ratio on the day, kicked the tying points. The Steelers kept the
pressure up and immediately threw a long touchdown pass from
Callum Davidson to Josh Lawrence to end
the first quarter leading 10-3.
In the second quarter the Steelers were knocking on the door of
the Falcons goal line again, but recent acquisition Dom
Olney came up with an important interception on the goal
line to end the Steelers momentum. On the very next play Troy
Lee linked up with his fellow University of Derby alumni
Kyren Watts, throwing a quick bubble screen pass
which Watts took 65 yards for the touchdown. Sandwell
got the ball back, but not for long, as two plays later Davidson
threw his second interception, this time to Falcons cornerback Dan
Smith. Running back Nat Eaves wasted no
time in bulldozing through the Steelers defence for a 22 yard score
and, just like that, the Falcons found themselves in front 17-10.
Sandwell tried to end the half with another score but were stopped
by linebacker Parm Sidhu, who marked his return
from injury with a juggling interception.
The third quarter was scoreless and one for the defences, Falcons
receiver Jack Verling coming closest to scoring
but couldn’t quite control a deep pass in the end zone. At the beginning
of the fourth quarter Sandwell added another field goal to keep
the pressure on the Falcons, but Leicester responded with a big
play, Lee throwing to Watts in
what would have been a carbon-copy of his earlier touchdown but
for accidentally stepping on the sideline ten yards out. The Falcons
scored on this drive anyway, quarterback Troy Lee
keeping the ball himself on an option run to make the score 24-13.
The Falcons linebackers came up big on the subsequent drive, effectively
removing the Steelers running game, and forced the Steelers into
punting. Taylor Brown added a late rushing touchdown
to make the game safe.
Next up for the Falcons are three games at home, beginning on 4th
June when they take on Coventry Jets in the “M69 bowl”.
The Falcons play at Leicester Road Stadium, Hinckley, and ticket
information is available on www.leicesterfalcons.co.uk.