Birmingham’s Rugby 2nds were aggressive from the off in this one. In the first ten minutes, they put in endless hard tackles forcing Northampton into mistakes. These mistakes told when the Lions forced a turnover and fly half Rory Chatterton’s quick feet, dancing past the tackles, led to a rush on the try line.
Chatterton was stopped before he could score but from a 5m scrum conceded from the attack, captain and number 8 James Timmins powered his way over the try line. Chatterton sealed a 7-0 lead with the conversion.
Northampton came back again, but winger Tom King intercepted a pass and broke away into Northampton’s 22. From a penalty, soon after, Tom Young showed great awareness to tap and go, supplying Timmins with the ball from 7 metres out. He finished it for his second of the game, securing a 12-0 lead. Chatterton was unlucky to see his kick rebound out of the upright.
Northampton were trapped in their own half for the remainder of the first period. The Lions were imperious in their defence and a turnover led to Connor Rodgers scoring in the corner. Chatterton hit a fantastic conversion to make it 19-0 at halftime.
At the restart, Northampton’s kick wasn’t ten. A good metaphor for the second half to come. Birmingham were dominant. They set up camp in the opposition 22 and didn’t feel obliged to leave until the game was over.
A flurry of tries came in. The backs showed fantastic quick hands to switch the ball from one side to another several times, leading to spaces for wingers to score. A penalty from Chatterton, a try from Ned Butler at full back and two for Tom King free in the corner, along with one final conversion saw the final score stand at 39-0.
In the second half, I truly got the sense that the Lions were “playing with their food”. Northampton not only didn’t score, but didn’t ever come close to scoring. By my count, they only crossed the Brum 22 with ball in hand once during the 80 minutes.
In contrast, the 2nds scored with ease. The pack was powerful and the backs had quick hands. It was a walk in the Metchley mud. Timmins at 8, Chatterton at 10 and Tom King at 14 deserve special mentions as standout players.
The Lions are now second in the table, just 1 point off Northampton. Two wins in their final two games will see them lift the title. If Wednesday’s performance is anything to go by, Birmingham look strong candidates for promotion.