Catz 31 – 7 LMH/TrinityUPON promotion to the top flight, the last thing any side would want is to face a team that ran in over a hundred points in their last two fixtures. Unfortunately for LMH/Trinity, an in-form Catz were their opponents in the first game of the new league season.Dark clouds and driving rain greeted the Division One new boys, who arrived without any substitutes and therefore no margin for error in terms of injuries. Catz, too, had players out, but even their shallow strength in depth was more than enough to comfortably see off their newly-promoted visitors.With the home side coming into the game on the back of a second place league finish – the college’s best in years – they were looking to build towards going one better in the new season.Catz began by tearing into LMH from the kick off, immediately camping deep in their opponents’ twenty-two. The only reason for the home side being denied an early score was a slight lack of composure in front of the line.All that changed on ten minutes after some hard-hitting play in the midfield saw the ball find Catz outside centre Femi Fadugba. Embarking on one of his trademark jinking runs, Fadugba left the LMH defence trailing in his wake before touching down underneath the posts. Captain Sam Donaldson converted to give his side an early 7-0 lead.Catz barely let their opponents catch breath, running the ball straight back into the Tigers’ half and causing all sorts of problems for their defence. Good work from the home pack allowed the backs to put through Peter Jones for the first of his two tries. At this stage LMH were on the ropes, being repeatedly jabbed by their hosts. Time after time Catz would break the defence, with Donaldson adding to his points total with a try and another conversion.By now, even the St. Catherine’s forwards were after a piece of the action. Prop Tom Ward took a great inside ball before good work from hooker Charlie Thompson led to Matt Perrins touching down for the fourth try, plus conversion, of a punishing first half for LMH.The Tigers looked more fired up after the break and took advantage of a sleepy Catz to score a converted try of their own, but were immediately brought back down to earth with a second try from Jones.Injuries on both sides then brought down the quality of the game, with uncontested scrums being introduced thanks to a front row casualty. Catz came close to scoring a sixth, but Jamie Menzies was brought down just before the line.Their dominance of both the lineout and the tackle area meant that the Manor Road outfit would always create more chances, and wing Leo Masson forced good covering tackles from the Tigers’ defence. With LMH’s numbers dropping as low as twelve thanks to injuries, the referee brought matters to a close ten minutes ahead of schedule.On this evidence, the new members of elite rugby have a lot to do to retain their top flight status. Upcoming fixtures against Magdalen and champions Keble leave LMH with little chance of picking up any points before Christmas. Catz, though, will fancy their chances of improving on last season’s second after a strong start in poor conditions.