On Friday afternoon the Independent Schools RFC returned to winning ways with a 59 – 7 victory over the Buenos Aires province biggest club, La Plata. The 9 try victory made even more impressive by the fact the game was played in heavy rain.
Historically the LAMBS have got stronger game to game when on Tour, and this result continued the trend as the boys put in an excellent all round performance in fairly torrid conditions. A number of positional changes had allowed them to create momentum at the right times and in the right areas, giving them quick front foot ball to allow them to play ‘Fast and Free’.
The game began in exactly the right way, as George Hitchcock (Felsted) glided in for the first try after just 5 minutes, getting on the end of a quick tap penalty from schoolmate James Hudson, who also converted. 5 minutes later Sam Hudson (St Peter’s, York) showed just why he was moved to centre, running a short line off Hitchcock to beat four men and finish under the posts in a superb solo try.
La Plata continued to attack, with a very physical set of forwards, however the Independent Schools stayed strong in defence and were rewarded with two turnover tries. The first on 18 minutes saw Toby Buckland (RHS Ipswich) counter attack from a kick, before the ball was shifted across the full width of the pitch to allow Blundell’s Arthur Friend to score his first of two. His second came on 28 minutes, a powerful LAMBS pack turned over the scrum and captain Nick Atkinson (Giggleswick) carried hard before releasing Hitchcock again. He neatly moved the ball through the backs hands before Hudson drew in more defenders in the 13 channel, before offloading to Friend for his second try. The half time score was 26 – 0.
The second half saw La Plata come out with a second wind, and after a mixture of some sustained pressure and a high penalty count their number 8 coasted in under the posts after an excellent running line after 10 minutes. However, this only served to motivate the LAMBS to take it up a gear, which then saw them score a try that shows what they are all about immediately from the kick off. Nick Atkinson was the beneficiary, after 2 phases of powerful forwards carries Sam Hudson then released the back line in the wide channels, where Atkinson then added a powerful running line off the wing. Atkinson then became provider five minutes later after a clean line break was followed by a sniping score from Pangbourne’s scrum half James Costin-Pratt.
However, the best was yet to come from the LAMBS as they scored three more tries in the last 12 minutes. The first two were both finished by Mason Knowles (Woodhouse Grove), one off of the scrum that then saw the ball moved left to right seamlessly and allowed Knowles to run in from 50meters. The second even more special, as Euan Friend (Blundell’s) turned over the ball on his own try line before the ball was shipped wide where George Hitchcock made another line break before releasing Arthur Friend and Mason Knowles, who finished from 80 meters to extend the lead to 52 – 7.
The final try was also the final play of the game, with Sam Hudson scoring a well deserved second as he turned over his opposite number in the tackle on his own 22, before using his footballing skills to fly hack through a pick up to score a try he converted himself.
The final score was 59 – 7. The Independent Schools now move onto their final game against provincial champions Daom RFC on Sunday morning.
After the game National Director Alex Laybourne said:
“Today we saw our performance go up a level and produce some of our best tries of the season. Along with that came a well deserved victory that gives the boys confidence going into the final game.”
“La Plata again gave us a tough physical encounter, but our players should be commended for executing their core skills at a consistently higher level during the game, given the treacherous conditions we were playing in.”
Full Time: ISRFC Lambs 59-7 La Plata RFC U19s
ISRFC Lambs XV:
1 Edward Linkogel (Woodhouse Grove School)
2 Jack Starkey (Queen Ethelburga’s)
3 Michael Galsworthy (Felsted School)
4 Harry Johnson (Ashville College)
5 Edward Goss (Wellingborough School)
6 Louis Fraser (Woodhouse Grove School)
7 Oliver Short (Wisbech Grammar School)
8 Nick Atkinson (c) (Giggleswick School)
9 James Lennon (Felsted School)
10 George Hitchcock (Felsted School)
11 Isaac Rayworth (Plymouth College)
12 Will Vaughan (Pangbourne College)
13 Sam Hudson (St Peter’s School, York)
14 Arthur Friend (Blundell’s School)
15 Toby Buckland (Royal Hospital School)
ISRFC Lambs Tour Fixtures:
Sunday 27th March – Lost 12-55 v Uruguay XV
Tuesday 29th March – Lost 7-52 v Buenos Aires Select XV
Friday 1st April – Won 59-7 v La Plata RFC U19
Sunday 3rd April – Daom RFC, 10.00