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Rugby: Nightmare away-day for Lions - on and off the pitch
DAVID Dunn admitted Lions’ lack of resources had played a part as the wheels came off during their Southend shocker.
Struggling Bournemouth lost 32-23 and, to make matters worse, did not arrive in Dorset until the early hours after a nightmare journey back.
Director of rugby Dunn also highlighted the arduous morning trek to Essex as he sought to explain another slow start in National Two South action.
Lions, hit by an early blast from Hartpury in their previous match, again proved sluggish out of the blocks as lowly Southend took charge yesterday.
And after suffering a seventh straight defeat, Dunn and his players had their misery compounded by a puncture to the team coach on the way home.
Dunn told the Daily Echo: “We gifted them a 19-point start. Within four minutes, we gave them two tries. They were soft run-ins from bad bounces of the ball.
“They raced into a 19-point lead and, in the second half, all they had to do was defend the lead and they did it well.”
Dunn continued: “It doesn’t help when you are on a coach for four hours. It really should have been an overnight stay.
“However well you prepare, it is very difficult to play your best game of rugby when the boys have been on a coach for four hours.
“It is very tough to compete at this level against professional teams with those resources.
“Having said that, we now have two home games and they are absolutely crucial to give us a chance of lifting ourselves away.”
Lions, who have been dragged into a relegation battle, registered tries through Dan Connolly, Scott Chislett and Alan Manning, with Dan Pollard kicking eight points. But it did not prove enough and salt was rubbed into Lions’ wounds on the way home.
Dunn added: “The coach got a puncture as it tried to get out of the car park and we sat for three hours on the side of the road, waiting for somebody to fix the tyre. Talk about a bad day at the office – there it is!”
Lions: Pollard, Veneroso, Chislett, Hart, Connolly, Drake (Stevenson, 50), Hardcastle, Booth, Vaughan-Edwards, Andrews (Grace, 60), Forrest, Collier (Burns, 65, Firetto, 70), Manning, Wilford, Carrel. Unused sub: Snead.