Lions are off to flying start
There was a cracking start for Leicester Lions in SSE National Two North as they recorded a 32-3 home win against Westoe.
The match was initially scheduled to be played in the north east but Westoe share their Wood Terrace ground with the cricket club and had to switch.
That move worked out well for Lions, who hit the ground running thanks in large to winger Joe Marston's hat-trick.
Director of rugby Ken Whitehead was delighted with the performance and said the club were savouring the moment.
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"It was very good, the application was good and we were very focused," he said. "I was very pleased with everything. We know it will be a long, hard season but it was a workman-like performance and everybody did well.
"The lads are still playing on emotion after the death of Mitchell Todd and my philosophy is that we want to enjoy every game of rugby and life in general."
Lions included new signing Jon Lowdon on the wing and Tom Morris also made his bow as flanker but it was a well-known face who got the first score of the season.
Full-back Gareth Collins crossed in the fourth minute before Marston doubled the advantage 10 minutes later with a score in the corner.
A Collins penalty increased the lead and Marston made it a brace after 28 minutes following good play from half-backs Tom Spence and Sam Dimmick as Lions went in 18-0 to the good.
The visitors had a good spell after the break and that led to Jordan Carey's penalty and a yellow card for Lions' lock Matt Tuckey.
That proved to be Westoe's only score and Marston completed his treble with 17 minutes left to bank the bonus point.
Lowdon converted and he also slotted the extras after fly-half Dimmick put the icing on the cake with a last-minute score.
Lions face league newcomers Birmingham and Solihull at Westleigh Park on Saturday.
Loughborough Students had an enjoyable afternoon despite suffering a 57-20 defeat in their SSE National One opener against head coach Dave Morris' former side Blackheath.
No. 8 Joe Burton scored a brace for Students while Geoff Griffiths, Jason Cleverly and Jack Walsh each crossed twice for Blackheath, and Rory Teague had a 22-point game.
Morris said: "I think that we have to look at the bigger picture and it was a very proud moment for the club. It was our first game in National One and we played at our new stadium.
"As a group, we didn't represent ourselves in the way that we know we can and the way that pre-season performances would suggest. But Blackheath are a good side and have been together a long time. Their familiarity and tightness was very evident."