The Independent School Lambs take on Ulster Under 18â€™s tonight as they bid to make it four wins from four on their Easter tour of Ireland.
Ahead of the final game of the tour we bring you the Coaches Reports from their first two games, against Leinster Youth and Leinster Schools, and their third tour game against Connacht Under 18â€™s.
The Lambs won all three games with Leinster Youth and Connacht Under 18â€™s beaten by a healthy 59-12 and 52-7 respectively, while Leinster Schools gave them a hard fought battle, finishing in a tight 13-11 Lambs victory, thanks to some heroics from the boot of Harrow Schoolâ€™s Freddie Chalmers.
ISRFC Lambs Coaches Reports:
â€œOn Wednesday and Thursday the Independent Schools National XV played their opening two games of the 4 game Ireland tour. Leinster Clubs were the opening opposition on the Wednesday, and Leinster Schools on the Thursday – a tough start to the tour!
On Wednesday the fixture was played at St Mary’s RFC, a great facility and weather to match. The Lambs came out all guns blazing and were on the scoreboard within two minutes following some good pressure from the kick off, Mike Peak from Kings Taunton opening the scoring.
By the time the clock reached 15 minutes the Lambs were three tries and 21 points ahead. However, Leinster are not the type of team to roll over and after keeping the ball tight they went out wide to get on the scoreboard.
Things then got tougher for the Lambs as Jamie Williams, fresh onto the pitch, saw yellow for repeated team offences at the breakdown, which then led to a Leinster catch and drive to get a second try on the scoreboard. Just before the break a fourth try gave the lambs a cushion and they went in 28 – 12 up.
A flood of changes at half time and a chance to regroup allowed the boys to step up the gears, two second half tries a piece from winger George Adams and full back Charlie Banks and a try from replacement winger Roland Walker put the Lambs in control, eventually running out 59 – 17 victors.
The centre pairing of Josh Gray and Charlie Greswold were outstanding with Greswold named man of the match.
24 hours later the boys were on the pitch again, with 29 players touring the side was freshened up for what was going to be a huge battle against a big and well-organised Leinster Schools side.
The game started attritional at the breakdown, where Leinster were outstanding, but with both teams playing attacking, running rugby. Eventually tries from Blundell’s hooker Andrew Hamilton and Ampleforth’s Roland Walker put the Lambs 10 – 0 up after 25 minutes. Once again however, Leinster were not going to roll over, a try and a penalty took the score at half time to 10-8, game on!
Once again the team was freshened up at half time, Mike Peek and Tom Yeulet adding go forward in the pack and Angus Hardy changing the dynamic at scrum half.
An early penaltyÂ to Leinster put them ahead for the first time in the game and the score remained 10-11 for Â the majority of the second half.
With 5 minutes to go Leinster were awarded a penalty following persistent pressure in the Lambs half. The kick was missed and from there the Lambs players suddenly changed the pace of the game, good breaks from Charlie Banks, Liam Fitt and George Adams moved us into scoring territory for the first time in the second half.
A forward pass stopped a sure fire game winning try before Leinster ended up with a lineout on their 5 metre line, last play of the game. A great lineout effort saw captain Iain Billington steal ball and give the Lambs one last chance – still playing wide attacking rugby the boys ended up out wide, stopped by a last ditch tackle – then a penalty was awarded, only the fourth of the game in favour of the Lambs, still last play of the game!
The team opted to go for goal, out wide with a cross field win, a very difficult kick which Harrow’s Freddie Chalmers seemed to take his full minute with!
A well struck kick won the game for the Lambs 13 – 11. Two from two in part one of the tour against two good sides – captain Iain Billington awarded man of the match of this occasion.â€
â€œOn Saturday the Independent Schools National XV faced Connacht U18s in the third of their four tour matches.
After a day off and a recovery session the Lambs were all set for another tough encounter. As always the philosophy was to play fast, open, attacking rugby – and they did not disappoint.
Andrew Hamilton (Blundell’s) opened the scoring for the second game running before a brace from Bedford winger George Adams put the Lambs in control.
Adams first came from a superbly worked back row move that released him in plenty of space to score, and the second was arguably the try of the Lambs season so far as quick offloading and wide play from the Lambs 22 got the crowd on their feet.
A well worked fourth try, finished by Reigate Grammar School centre Will Bennett took the half time score to 22 – 0, with just the one conversion.
The second half started with a bang, George Adams completing a hat trick as replacement scrum half Angus Hardy (Berkhamsted) spotted the smallest of gaps on the blindside.
The game then broke up as Connacht fought back and began to vary their playing style and put the Lambs into defence mode, the next 10 minutes were a stalemate before some great individual work by David Elliott (Durham) saw a breakaway try to take the score to 36 – 0.
Connacht then caught the Lambs in phase play as miscommunication led to huge gaps in the defence and their winger sliced through to put 7 points on the board.
The Lambs had to regroup under the posts to regain control, and they certainly did as the tight five showed just how to play fast and free as they demonstrated good offload play, lines of running and also a turn of pace to go from half way to under the posts, Josh Pieterse (St Columbus) finishing the move off.
The final play of the game then saw Kit Goodfellow (Rugby School) finish off the scoring with a good try down the left wing, Elliot Croft (Brentwood) brought up the 50 points with the conversion. Final score 52 – 7.
Some great set piece by the Lambs gave them a good platform to put in an excellent performance and record their third win of the Tour. Jamie Williams (Kingswood) and Will Martin (Sherbourne) were awarded Men of Match.
The final leg of the tour is against Ulster on Monday night as the Lambs look to complete a full house with four from four. â€œ
Independent School Lambs National XV Tour Results:
Lambs 59-12 Leinster Youth
Lambs 13-11 Leinster Schools
Lambs 52-7 Connacht U18
Lambs v Ulster U18 â€“ Monday 8th April
The Independent Schools Lambs have also been providing Fifteen Rugby with two exclusive tour diaries, a behind the scenes Player Cam and a pitchside tour report, to view the videos please just follow the links.