A second half fightback by the Crawshay’s saw the Lambs defeated 21-35 by the famous Welsh Invitational side.
The Crawshay’s win saw them complete an unbeaten season, having also been crowned the Portuguese National Youth Festival Champions at the end of their Easter tour last week.
It is one of the Lambs’ oldest fixtures and is always a superb contest – this year it was held at the new Bristol Combination 3G which gave it the perfect setting for the running rugby that was on show.
The Lambs only fielded five of their touring squad, meaning there were a number of changes across the side. It was also their first domestic game since the February half-term break due to the weather in March.
The changes possibly showed as the LAMBS started slow and were 0-8 down after 15 minutes following a try and a penalty, the latter evidence that the Crawshay’s were keen to get points on the board and get ahead as early as possible. However, the Lambs stayed true to their philosophy and once they found their stride looked dangerous with the ball in hand.
After 25 minutes Elliot Rayment (RHS, Ipswich) carved a beautiful line off captain Alfie Orchard (Bedford) to go in under the posts. Not long later St Peter’s, York full-back Charlie Hudson was the beneficiary of Orchards play, running hard and flat on a wide line as the captain took the ball to the line before delivering a well-weighted pass.
At 14-8 the Lambs looked like they were taking a stronghold, but a penalty from the kick off took 3 more points off their lead. They responded almost immediately as Ben Keen (St Benedict’s, Ealing) finished off a well worked try and the Lambs moved the ball wide-to-wide on four occasions.
At 21-11 up the Lambs looked safe going into half-time, however another penalty from the kick-off put them under pressure. This time the Crawshay’s scrum half went quickly and the resulting pick and go game meant the half time lead was seven points less at 21-18.
The Crawshay’s came out firing in the second half, buoyed by the late score, and before the Lambs knew what had happened Crawshay’s scored again to take a 21-25 lead.
After this the Lambs switched on and had plenty of position, however inaccuracies and being caught in an arm wrestle meant they didn’t record any more scores despite the territory and possession.
Crawshay’s then made a late break before being awarded a penalty with 5 minutes to go, 21-28 and a converted score was needed by the Lambs to tie the game.
With the Lambs throwing everything at the game, Crawshay’s scored a late interception score, well finished by the supporting players flooding through, and the game concluded at 21-35 to the Crawshay’s.
Speakin gafter the game, Lambs National Director Alex Laybourne said:
“We played well in the first half once we found our stride, and always looked dangerous with the ball in hand. However the late score before half-time and our own inaccuracies in the second half cost us the chance to win the game.”
“Crawshay’s are always a physical and organised unit and credit should go to them on completing an unbeaten season. As for us, we will use the lessons learnt for next Sunday’s game vs Gloucester Rugby, with Alfie and the Leadership team taking the responsibility on to ensure we become more clinical as a group despite the squad changes that will be made.”
Full Time: ISRFC Lambs 21-35 Crawshay’s Welsh XV
Images via Tracey Hills