Plymouth Albion overcame a tough test to take a 45-21 victory over Leicester Lions at the Brickfields on Saturday.
A relatively cagey first 10 minutes saw both sides give away scrums but, once the game opened out, it was Albion that struck first. Harry Wilkinson began to drive from a lineout, and the rest was inevitable.
The lead was quickly doubled when Pita Ratukadreu sped over after some fine hands across the pitch, and Dan Pullinger found himself free as a bird to power into the Leicester half a few minutes later and run in to score the third.
The bonus point was added with just over 20 minutes gone, Wilkinson driving over from his second.
The Lions did manage to find a way back into the encounter towards the end of the first half, with Joey Patrick benefitting from some solid work on the left flank.
They grabbed a further foothold not long after when Geordie Irvine broke free to score, giving Albion a slightly less comfortable advantage going into the break.
Simon Koroiyadi pulled another one back from an Albion scrum early in the second period, but the hosts soon gained their composure, and responded through Wilkinson’s hattrick try from another driving maul.
Albion’s game management from there was stellar. They kept Leicester at bay, kept the penalty count low, and maintained their advantage over a game Lions side.
Dan Pullinger, Harry Wilkinson, Jenson Boughton, Brad Howe, Angus Hodges, Sonny Hirini, Torin Clarke, Sam Daly ©, Morgan Stone, Phil Jones, Craig Duncan, Archie Hill, Seta Raumakita, Pita Ratukadreu, Tom Putt
Replacements: Gabe Mead, Ramaz Rukhadze, Dan Collier, Jack Oulton, Connor Eastgate
Will Roberts, Olly Taylor, Aaron Dawson, Ethan Godfrey, Geordie Irvine, Simon Johnson, Johnny Murdoch, Simon Koroiyadi, James Stubbs, Dan Lewis, Joey Patrick, Dan Martin, Jamel Hamilton, Jake Sterland, Luke Bourchier
Replacements: Drew Rudkin, Isaac Thompson, Devon Coulson, Oscar McCarthy, Joe Brock