The Independent Schools XV, the Lambs, began their season with a bang, beating the Irish Exiles 52-15 in an exciting and fast paced encounter.
Playing together as a team for the first time following a rigorous selection process, the Lambs were understandably a little slow to get out of the blocks, with the Irish starting the game stronger.
That early pressure soon led to points as the Exiles went over from a quick tap to give themselves a 5-0 lead. The quick tap was a real symbol of both teams intention to play to the Lambs â€˜fast and freeâ€™ motto and kicking was kept to a minimum, in part due to the excellent 4G facility at Maidenhead RFC.
The Lambs responded well though and grew in confidence as the began to string together some good phases of play. Josh Pieterse went over to become the first try scorer for the 2013 Lambs outfit and Angus Hardy soon followed suit. Both were converted to give the Lambs a 14-5 lead.
Another quick tap saw the Exiles reduce the gap to four points before the game broke into a period of play that would have had the lungs wincing in pain.
Both sides were determined to keep the ball in hand, meaning the ball was in play for the majority of the last ten minutes of the half. Eventually, to catch a breath as much as anything, the Exiles put boot to ball.
The Lambs were ruthless in their punishment of such play though and ran the ball back with real conviction before sending Cyprian Owen Edmonds over in the corner.
There was no rest for the watching crowd though as the spectacular just kept coming, this time through a length of the field score from the impressive Charlie Banks.
That left the Lambs 24-10 up at the break as they rung they changes at half time, continuity was of no worry to them though as they started the half exactly as they had ended the last, on the front foot.
George Adams went over in the right hand corner after some concerted pressure as the Irish tried desperately to get a foothold in the game.
Their hopes were dashed though by two tries in as many minutes from Liam Fitt and then Matthew Retchless.
The Exiles continued to keep knocking on the door though and after a long period of possession they finally got their reward for their efforts with a lovely try.
With just five minutes left to play though it was never going to be enough to change the outcome of the match, and that fate was truly sealed when with the last play of the game David Harrison brought up the Lambs half century.
It was certainly a good start to the campaign for the Lambs, they will play the Exiles again on the 24th February after taking on Crawshays Welsh two weeks before, again at Maidenhead RFC.
Final Score: ISRFC Lambs 52-15 Irish Exiles
Tries â€“ Josh Piertse, Angus Hardy, George Admas, Cyrpian Owen Edmonds, Charlie Banks, Liam Fitt, Matthew Retchless and David Harrison.
Conversions â€“ Elliot Croft and Freddie Chalmers.
ISRFC Lambs Squad:
Reigate Grammar School
St.Peter’s School, York
Cyprian Owen Edmunds
Kings College Taunton
Loose Head Prop
St. Columbas College
Wisbech Grammar school
Tight Head Prop
Tight Head Prop
St. Peter’s York
Loose Head Prop