Luton RFC reach the summit after beating Vipers

Steve Allen in action for Luton against Vipers - pic: Ian Nancollas Photography
Steve Allen in action for Luton against Vipers - pic: Ian Nancollas Photography

Luton went to the top of the Midlands Two East South table after a bonus point 26-13 victory at Vipers on Saturday.

Due to injuries to forwards Connor O’Neill, Tom Garner and Ryan Staff, coach Paul Alston started with Spellen, Matt Yang and Steve Allen, while a familiar back line, with Tyler Pickford making his full debut, was again well marshalled by Rik Hobbs.

The first half failed come to life as both teams were guilty of poor passing, errors of judgement and missed opportunities.

Untidy at times due to the wet conditions, Luton defended well, although Vipers broke the deadlock, as they moved in front with a penalty.

But Luton came back quickly before the break, as taking full advantage of their hosts receiving a yellow card, they won a line-out and formed a rolling maul. From close range Aidan Kenny, enjoying a good game at inside centre, crashed over the line and Hobbs added the difficult conversion.

After the restart Luton wasted no time in extending their lead when Vipers failed to handle a high ball in front of their posts.

Quick hands saw Allen cross unopposed, with Hobbs making it 14-3 from the tee.

The visitors now took complete control with Vipers unable to break out of their half.

In a repeat of their first try Luton won a line-out and this time the maul crossed the line with Allen touching down for his second.

Although Vipers got a toe-hold in the game with a simple penalty, the Newlands men saved their best for last, running-in their bonus point try from 50 metres.

From a scrum the visitors went blind with David Hamm feeding Martin O’Grady, with the winger rounding off a fine game by evading two defenders to score under the posts.

Leading by 20 points with time running out Luton relaxed and Vipers added a try of their own to make the full time score 26-13.

Ending the day at the top of the table, Luton manager Steve Evans said: “Our coach got in the huddle at half time and had a few words – that seemed to do the trick because in the first 10 minutes after the restart we were exceptional.”

Meanwhile, captain Laurence Alden added: “We started slowly, we lost concentration in the first half, but we did well to get a bonus point win.

“It’s a long season but I think we’ve got enough quality in the squad to be serious contenders for the league.”

Luton visit Market Harborough this weekend.