The ISRFC Lambs travelled to Northampton BBOB RFC last night to take on Northampton Saints U17s, the Lambs fifth game of the season.
They arrived with two wins and two losses from their first four games, but went home with a third loss after going down 45-0 to the Academy side.
It was a tough loss for the Lambs, Northampton were very good, but the margin of victory certainly flattered, for the Lambs caused plenty of problems throughout the game.
In total Northampton scored seven tries, including a few glorious efforts, one try midway through the second half was a delightful breakout from inside their own half that saw the replacement wing finish off from forty metres down the right hand touch line, stunning stuff. Another was a sublime set piece move, reminiscent of the try that Bryan Habana scored for South Africa in the second Test of the 2009 Lions series.
One thing that was noticeable, give the storm that was about to break across social media once everyone had returned home, was that the game was full contact, and everyone was perfectly happy with that.
In fact, the Lambs are one of the many arguments against Dr Pollock and friends’ letter arguing that tackling should be banned in schools rugby. The Lambs’ ‘fast and free’ style promotes exactly what the aim of the game is, to avoid being tackled. Remove the tackle, and you remove any similarity to the game as we know it. It is pretty difficult to offload without drawing a defender into a tackle situation.
That fast and free style is exhilarating to watch, some of the offloading from the Lambs was simply outstanding, and their willingness to try to play the game from anywhere is refreshing. It got them into trouble though, twice Northampton scored after the Lambs tried to run it out from deep in their own 22, only to be boxed in and then turned over by the Academy side.
Northampton did play some exceptional rugby at times, and bought into the concept of having a go. On a number of occasions Saints turned down kickable penalties in order to run or go to the corner, it made for an exciting evening of rugby.
Several men stood out for the Lambs, outside centre Alfred Nordgren of Woodhouse Grove had an outstanding game. In both attack and defence he was a thorn in the side of Northampton.
Up front captain Sam Hudson, of St Peter’s York, was in fine form too. Playing like any good back row should, especially one for the Lambs, linking backs and forwards expertly. In defence he was watertight, while in attack he was as happy to play ‘heads up’ as he was to set the platform for another attack.
Berkhamsted full back Will Hughes was another who was in flying form, running some outstanding lines in attack, and he picked up the Lambs’ own man of the match award.
Next up for the Lambs are Saracens Academy at Allianz Park on Tuesday, the game will be a double header, with the Lambs’ U16s taking on Saracens U16s prior to the U18 fixture.
After that the Lambs take on Worcester Warriors’ Academy before heading to Argentina on tour, where it was announced yesterday that they will be taking on Argentina U18 as one of their four tour games, a superb fixture and one that is sure to raise the profile of Lambs rugby.
Full Time: ISRFC Lambs 0-45 Northampton Saints
|ISRFC Lambs XV v Northampton Saints U17 – Tuesday 1st March, 19.30 KO, Northampton BBOB RFC|
|2||Jack Starkey||Queen Ethelburga’s College|
|3||Daniel Ali||Cheltenham College|
|4||Alec Hampden-Smith||Mount Kelly|
|5||Harry Johnson||Ashville College|
|8||Sam Hudson (c)||St Peter’s, York|
|9||Louis McManus||The Perse|
|10||Toby Buckland||Royal Hospital School|
|12||Will Vaughan||Pangbourne College|
|13||Alfred Nordgren||Woodhouse Grove|
|15||Mason Knowles||Woodhouse Grove|
|16||Edward Linkogel||Woodhouse Grove|
|17||Oliver Short||Wisbech Grammar|
|18||Ben Parker||RGS Newcastle|