Despite leading 21-5 shortly after the start of he second half, the Lightning needed a last minute penalty kick for a 24-22 win over the Heriot-Watt University rugby team at Mohawk Sports Park Tuesday evening.
The touring Scots may have been a bit slow off the mark in the first half, having just flown in from Glasgow on Monday and feeling the heat after cool wet weather in Scotland.
The Lightning, on the other hand, were ready to roll, and Waterloo’s Eric Kiplimo led the way for the under 20 Lightning team. He opened the scoring with a try after 10 minutes and kicked the convert to lead 7-0. Five minutes late, the Lightning quickly swung the wall wide on the 50 metre line and Kiplimo displayed his great broken-field running ability to dance around several defenders and touch down under the posts, making his second convert a formality.
Heriot-Watt replied with a fine try after a scrum at midfield when fullback Chris Browne gave a beautiful delayed pass to right wing Mark Ross who crashed over at the corner flag. Early in the second half the visitors drove the ball from a lineout and scored in the corner. Five minutes later a long kick put them on the Lightning’s 25 and fullback Browne broke through. Heriot-Watt seemed to sense a win was possible and pressured again, stealing ruck ball by powering through the middle and Greg Smith was under the posts to put the Scots in the lead for the first time at 22-21.
However, Lightning showed character and continued to attack with some good running plays and forced Heriot-Watt to concede a penalty. Kiplimo was successful once again and Lightning held the lead until full time to win 24-22.
Kiplimo had two tries, three converts and one penalty for 19 of Lightning’s point.
The Lightning’s senior squad, the Thunder, playing in the Rugby Canada Super League, will meet the Quebec Caribou in a new venue, the Niagara Wasps facility in Port Colborne this Saturday. Kick off is scheduled for 4.30 p.m. Directions to the field are available at www.niagararugby.com .
The Super League is played in an Eastern and Western conference format with the winner of each conference playing each other to determine the Canadian Championship. Playing in the league is considered a must if a player is to achieve an opportunity to be considered for Canada’s National Side.
The Thunder draws elite players from teams in the Ontario Rugby Union’s Marshall and Keenan and Niagara Rugby Unions Premier divisions. The under-20 development team, the Lightning, also is scheduled to play on the same days as the senior team.