Easter Sunday saw an exciting day for the ISRFC Lambs as they played two Internationals, the U18s facing Croatia U19s and the U16s playing Scotland Reds at the International Festival in Colwyn Bay.
The day was also a chance to pay a fitting tribute to Lambs old boy James Huxtable (2011) who sadly passed away during the week. Both games saw a minutes silence being held beforehand, whilst the Lambs also retired their number 95 shirt in his memory.
In the U18 game the LAMBS ran out 99-0 victors in a game that highlighted their impressive attacking ability and desire to play ‘Fast and Free’. However, they also put in a fantastic defensive performance. Croatia, who were far better than the score line suggests, posed the LAMBS a number of threats and could well have scored 3 or 4 tries of their own.
The Lambs performance saw them score 15 tries, with a number of them scored from their own 22 and some particularly special scores. The highlight was the third try, scored from a kick off, where Piers Martin (Felsted) fielded the kick off deep in the Lambs 22 before making a half break.
From the breakdown nine offloads and some excellent interplay between the forwards and backs then saw Alex Liley (St Peters, York) and Oliver Mann (Wisbech GS) combine before releasing Jack Trundley (Wisbech GS) to score his second try under the posts.
Man of the Match Tom Walker (Felsted) opened the scoring, before completing a hatrick in the second half. Piers Martin (Felsted) scored a very impressive four tries and Tyler Tomlinson (Felsted) also scored a hatrick off the bench.
Jack Trundley (Wisbech GS) scored two whilst Oliver Mann (Wisbech GS), Owen Jones (Kings Macclesfield) and Elliot Rayment (RHS, Ipswich) all scored one each. Captain Alfie Orchard (Bedford) kicked 10 of 11, with Tom Walker adding the other two conversions to take his match tally to 19 points.
Commenting after the game, Lambs National Director Alex Laybourne reflected on both the game and the tragic loss of James Huxtable:
“Today was a great tribute in memory of the loss of one of the Lambs family and our thoughts are with James’ family at this time. Both sides stuck firmly to the Fast and Free philosophy and the principles of the club, and as such there were two fantastic performances that we are very proud of.“
“The U18s scored some particularly impressive tries and thoroughly deserved their result, whilst the 16s scratched the surface of their capabilities on the opening day of their tour.”
The Lambs’ next game on tour sees them face I Dogi Comitato Regionale Veneto U18 in Italy on Wednesday, before a further fixture on Saturday, and a final game of the tour against Italy U19 B on Tuesday 10th April.
Whilst on tour, the Lambs will be providing a player diary, the first of which was written by skipper Alife Orchard of Bedford prior to the Croatia U19 game.
“We met bright and early at 5:30am at Heathrow on Friday morning for our flight to Zagreb-Croatia. With the rule ‘no revision no play’ in place, the 2hr15 flight was a perfect opportunity for some early revision. However the 5:30am meet caught up on nearly all the squad and the 2hr15 flight was used to catch up on some sleep!
“We landed at 11pm and set off for Zagreb where we will be staying for 3 nights. We spent Friday evening getting use to our new surroundings and managed to stumble across the U18 European Ice Hockey Championships where we spent the majority of our first night in Zagreb.”
“On Saturday, after an 8am breakfast (and despite the torrential rain!) we spent the morning in Zagreb town centre on a guided tour, learning about all things past and present about the Croatian capital.”
“Following lunch we had a great training session ahead of our fixture against Croatia U19s. After some revision and a team meeting this evening the boys will be feeling ready and prepared for the first test of the tour tomorrow!”
Prepped and ready they most certainly were, scoring a stunningly impressive 99 points against an international side a year their elder. A stunning start for this group of young men, and it bodes well for what looks like an exciting and challenging tour ahead.
ISRFC Lambs U18 99-0 Croatia U19
ISRFC Lambs XV v Croatia U19:
15 Tom Walker (Felsted), 14 Piers Martin (Felsted), 13 Oliver Mann (Wisbech Grammar), 12 Alex Liley (St Peter’s, York), 11 William Kay (Stockport Grammar), 10 Alfie Orchard (Bedford, captain), 9 Jack Trundley (Wisbech Grammar), 1 Tom Eyston (Ampleforth College, vc), 2 Ollie Brown (Shiplake College), 3 John Petty (Trinity, vc), 4 Bradley Hutler (Wisbech Grammar), 5 Toby Risebrow (Framlingham College), 6 Owen Jones (King’s Macclesfield), 7 Aiden Ali (Cheltenham College, vc), 8 Henry Reed-Purvis (Bradford Grammar).
Replacements: 16 Joe Martin (Portsmouth Grammar), 17 Samuel Wright (Rugby), 18 Tyler Tomlinson (Felsted), 19 Harrison Stiles (Framlingham College), 20 Tom Watson (Framlingham College), 21 Byron Van Uden (Stamford), 22 Darren Ali-Scott (Queen Ethelburga’s), 23 Harry Bureau (Framlingham College), 24 Elliot Rayment (Royal Hospital School).
ISRFC Lambs U18 Tour Schedule:
Depart – Friday 30th March
Game 1 – Sunday 1st April – Lambs 99-0 Croatia U19
Game 2 – Wednesday 4th April – v I Dogi Comitato Regionale Veneto U18
Game 3 – Saturday 7th April – v Centro Do Formazione F.R Prato & Milano
Game 4 – Tuesday 10th April – v Italy U19 B
Return – Wednesday 11th April