On Thursday night the ISRFC Lambs U16 side travelled to Sixways to face Worcester Warriors in their second game of the season.
The 3G surface allowed both sides to play a game that provided all who were watching with some thoroughly entertaining rugby from start to finish, with the Lambs running out 27-26 winners and outscoring Worcester 5 tries to 4.
The game started with intensity and ambition, the Lambs one pass away from releasing themselves from behind their own line into acres of space up the left wing – a lack of depth killing a play that would have set the game alight in the first minute.
From the resulting scrum Worcester powered over, with the outside centre and wing combining beautifully for the latter to score in the left hand corner after just 5 minutes of play.
The Lambs replied with a sense of urgency in both defence and the breakdown to try and win the ball and give them a platform to play off turnover ball, and it was just that which led to the first try as Man of the Match Jack Trundley (Wisbech Grammar School) picked up scraps behind the Worcester ruck before breaking clear and finishing under the posts with a full arm reach – the scores were level after 10 minutes.
As the group of new players began to understand each other the ambition grew, with plenty of width and an offloading game keeping Worcester on the back foot. Trundley then came provider as he fed hooker Cherry (Norwich) to bundle over in the corner to score his first of two and his third of the season.
With not long left in the first half the Lambs then scored a superb try in the spirit of their philosophy as they ran from their own 22 – the ball moved right to left before George Lemon (Wisbech Grammar School) went 80m up the left wing before offloading to Jude Williams (Caterham) who coasted in for a converted try to take the lead to 17 – 5 at half time.
In the second half Worcester came out flying, creating quick ball with some powerful carries. Early sustained pressure led to a high penalty count for the Lambs and Worcester kept themselves on the front foot.
Eventually the forwards converted the pressure to bring themselves back within a score – 17 – 12.
As the game continued to go back and worth and wide to wide the players from both sides never failed to entertain. With the crowd already enjoying a spectacle captain Josh Davies (Mount Kelly) provided yet another piece of individual magic, taking the ball 60m out from a clearance kick before beating four men with a variety of steps, hand offs and pure speed, to extend the lead to 22 – 12.
With 20 minutes left Worcester were never going to ease up and a well worked try from turnover allowed them to score in the right hand corner to close the gap again. Never deterred and prepared to rise to the challenge the Lambs knew they needed to stay calm but remain true to their philosophy.
A scrum on the right hand side on their 22 saw a classic 8,9,14 move – with numerous offloads keeping the ball alive Worcester eventually created a breakdown on their own 22, but quick ball from right to left allowed Cherry to finish in the corner, scoring his second of the game and 4th of the season.
At 27 – 19 the Lambs looked like they would hold on to the end, but a fantastic solo try by Worcester took the score to 27-26 with only three minutes remaining – creating a type of pressure that the Lambs rose up to.
Worcester threw all they had at the men in pink and valiantly worked their way from their own try line to the Lambs 22, however the game was finished off as Trundley found an isolated carrier and won a penalty at the breakdown to secure a fantastic win.
After the game, Lambs National Director Alex Laybourne said:
“Today was a fantastic event, there were two sides out there showing ambition and determination from start to finish and the spectators were given an absolute treat. I was delighted with how the Lambs boys played, they embraced the philosophy, played with a smile on their face and worked incredibly hard for each other – not only did they score a number of great tries, but the defence and determination towards the end was admirable and they deserved to hold on.”
|U16 ISRFC Lambs National Squad|
|Charlie Short||Shebbear College|
|Ben Slessor||Trent College|
|George Duggan||Dulwich College|
|Sione Funaki||Shebbear College|
|Archie Tarbuck||King’s Ely|
|Robbie Cartwright||Shiplake College|
|Thomas Bloomer||Churcher’s College|
|Peter Ryall||King Edward VI|
|Gregoire Imber||Bishop’s Stortford College|
|Jack Trundley||Wisbech Grammar|
|Harry Bureau||Framlingham College|
|Alessandro Aliberti||Shebbear College|
|Matthew Fitzgerld||Shiplake College|
|Rupert Scrase||Hurstpierpoint College|
|Josh Davies||Mount Kelly|