Royals’ romp sets them up nicely for play-offs

Veteran Royals player Ian Grimes sprints away to score. Picture: Tim Nunan

Veteran Royals player Ian Grimes sprints away to score. Picture: Tim Nunan

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Leamington Royals are assured of a semi-final place after an 84-12 thrashing of an under-strength North East Worcestershire Ravens in the Midlands Premier Division South.

On the hottest playing day of the year, Ravens arrived with only 12 players with another joining midway through the first half.

However, they were still forced to play almost the entire game a man down as a visiting player was red-carded for punching Royals’ Chris Dixon following a disagreement over a ruck.

Leamington, in contrast, had a full squad of 20 and gave a number of fringe players some much-needed match-day experience and game time as they head towards the business end of the season.

From the off, Royals showed their pace and power, running in 14 converted tries to Ravens’ three.

Leading the way was Alex Mills-Baker, returning from injury, who scored six tries to show he will ably fill the void left by fellow tryscorer Will Cox who was playing his last game of the season.

Further scores came through centres Paul Salvin and Steve Alford, supported by wing Dave Cotton, all converted by Tom Hyam.

Royals led 60-6 at the break and despite easing off after the interval, added further scores through Mills-Baker, second-row Joe Talamini and prop Adam Murgatroid.

One of the final scores of the day was also one of the most popular for Leamington as Andre Martins broke through the defence on the half-way line before passing to veteran prop Ian Grimes who sprinted 40 metres to score under the posts.