The ISRFC Lambs picked up their second win of the season on Saturday, beating Crawshay’s Welsh 21-20.
The classic Lambs fixture, held this year at Ealing Trailfinders RFC, brought the Lambs back to winning ways after a tough defeat against the RFU Midlands Counties U18s followed a dramatic win over the Irish Exiles U18s.
This fixture against Crawshay’s was a classic example of the Lambs’ ‘fast and free’ philosophy. We see and hear of many teams hoping to play in an open and exciting ‘Barbarian’ style, but so often they fail to meet that lofty ambition. Here though the Lambs lived up to that ambition and more.
The philosophy was perhaps best shown towards the end of the first half, with a glorious try that was tragically called back for a forward pass.
Under pressure behind their own goal line, the Lambs, as is their way, opted to run. Spreading the ball the width of the field, they released Truro’s Daniel Hubble. Still behind his own try line, he rounded his opposite man and scorched away down the left hand touchline. Eventually tackled, the Lambs then released Caterham hooker Cory Nelson, who tore down the touchline, brilliantly evading three tacklers with a mixture of power and glorious footwork. Forward pass or not, it was a score that felt deserved, if only for its sheer outrageous quality.
It took the Lambs a while to get going though, Crawshay’s came out of the traps fast, and had the look of a side that was far more familiar with one another than the Lambs, at that stage.
They took the lead through a penalty through the outside centre, before some heavy pressure in the Lambs’ 22 allowed their second row to crash over.
With twenty minutes on the clock though, the Lambs burst into life scoring a try through a wonderful running line from Royal Hospital School fly half, Toby Buckland. A wiggle of the hips and he was underneath the posts from about fifteen metres out, with barely a finger laid on him.
Seven minutes later, the Lambs were at it again. By now they were really in their flow, actively looking to move the ball wide and get it through as many sets of hands as possible.
It was creating a series of line breaks, which just made it start to feel inevitable that one would be finished off, and oh what a joy it was when it happened. Bursting through the line with physicality and speed, Felsted’s George Hitchcock then exchanged passes with Reed’s wing Joseph Triegaardt before soaring over the line for a wonderful try. It felt like something of a Lambs specialty, and sent them into the half time break 14-10 up.
The second half started much like the first though, with Crawshay’s back on top again, scoring a try down the right wing after the Lambs had perhaps got a little to ambitious, even for them, allowing Crawshay’s to seize on a spilled ball an retake the lead at 15-14.
Any momentum was to be halted ten minutes later though when Crawshay’s saw yellow after a string of minor infringements.
It did not take long for the Lambs to take advantage, as barely a minute later they were under the posts. Once again though, it was all about how they had got there. A long clearing kick from Crawshay’s just missed touch, right wing Joseph Triegaardt fielded the kick and began to make his charge towards the Crawshay’s defence. Jinking inside, he caught them unawares and was suddenly a top speed running against inside shoulders. Anyone who saw George North’s try against Scotland a few hours later will know what happens next. Three or four defenders were ghosted past before Triegaardt dived over the line for what was a memorable try.
Not only that, but being under the posts allowed Felsted’s James Lennon to slot what was to prove a crucial conversion.
Crucial because, back to their full complement of players, with just over five minutes remaining, Crawhshay’s scored a beauty of their own through their outside centre, who cruised down the right wing to take his side within a point. With the conversion right out on the touchline though, he could not quite get the legs on the kick to give his side that crucial lead.
On balance though, the right result was achieved. Crawshay’s were good, very good at times, and had the Lambs under huge pressure for a lot of the game, particularly at the set piece. However some of the rugby that the Lambs produced was simply sublime. In truth, had the ball gone to hand, they could have had a couple more. That is the beauty of the Lambs though, they a prepared to have a go, and if the odd ball does not go to hand, so be it.
A ‘fast and free’ joy to watch.
Full Time: ISRFC Lambs 21-20 Crawshay’s Welsh
You can see photos of the game on our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby
|ISRFC Lambs XV|
|1||Nick Atkinson (c) (2)||Giggleswick|
|2||Cory Nelson (2)||Caterham|
|3||Daniel Ali (2)||Cheltenham College|
|4||Harry Johnson (3)||Ashville College|
|5||Reece McCarthy (2)||Trinity|
|6||George Cassell (3)||Bloxham|
|7||Louis Fraser (2)||Woodhouse Grove|
|8||Will Burns (1)||Pocklington|
|9||James Costin-Pratt (3)||Pangbourne College|
|10||Toby Buckland (2)||Royal Hospital School|
|11||Daniel Hubble (2)||Truro|
|12||George Hitchcock (3)||Felsted|
|13||Isaac Rayworth (2)||Plymouth College|
|14||Joseph Triegaardt (2)||Reed’s|
|15||Arthur Friend (1)||Blundell’s|
|16||Mike Galsworthy (1)||Felsted|
|17||Jack Starkey (2)||Queen Ethelburga’s College|
|18||Ben Oliphant-Thomson (2)||Blundell’s|
|19||Eddie Goss (2)||Wellingborough|
|20||Samuel Bloomer (2)||Churcher’s College|
|21||James Lennon (1)||Felsted|
|22||Will Vaughan (2)||Pangbourne College|
|23||Jacob Weightman (2)||Durham|
|24||Mason Knowles (2)||Woodhouse Grove|
Crawshay’s Welsh Squad:
Jack Williams (Cloeg Gwent Cross Keys)
Ethan Williams (Ysgol Plasmawr)
Matt Hodson (Llangovery College)
Connor Davies (Coleg Gwent Ebbw Vale)
Iwan Madoc (Ysgol Bro Dinefwr)
Will Davies-King (King’s School, Gloucester)
Ben Jones (Radyr Comprehensive)
Will Ponty (Framlingham College)
Callum Bailey-Aitken (Newport High)
Ben Asprea (Porthcawl Comprehensive)
Will Goodey (Cheptsow Comprehensive)
Calum Donnelly (Ashby School)
Griffri Whiston (Monmouth)
Tomas Bainton (Coleg Gwent Cross Keys)
Jak Robbins (Porthcawl Comprehensive)
Gwyn Parks (King’s College, Taunton)
Oli Vickers (Monmouth)
Will Holley (St John’s, Aberdare)
Harry Lloyd (Ysgol Bro Dinefwr)
Luke Roberts (Christ College, Brecon)
Matt Cross (Brymawr RFC)
Josh Parr (Croesyceiliog RFC)
Ed Harper (Monmouth)