ISRFC Lambs: Impressive Lambs miss out against Canada U19 in tour opener


The Independent Schools Lambs produced an outstanding first half against a Canada U19, who head to Wales this week for the U18 International Festival against Ireland, Scotland, England, Italy, and Wales.


Unfortunately for the Lmabs, Canada proved why they are a national side, weathering the storm and punishing the Lambs’mistakes in the second half.


The Lambs opened the game with intensity and passion, playing with real pride in the pink shirt. Moving the ball wide and wide and making numerous line breaks, the Lambs were playing some of the best rugby they have produced in recent times.


Because of this, Canada looked to get themselves on the scoreboard early when they had a chance, but missed two early penalty attempts. The second missed attempt gave the platform for the Lambs opening try, a quick 22 drop out was retained and three minutes later, six widths of the pitch and three quick penalties later George Hartson (Wycliffe) dived over to take a 5 – 0 lead on 8 minutes.


Ten minutes later Canada finally got on the scoreboard with a penalty, before scoring their first try 5 minutes before half time, an interception try from the left winger, who proved a handful throughout the game, coming after significant pressure from the Lambs.


At 5 – 8, Canada’s left wing then scored a try on the stroke of half time, the ball appeared to be held up by Raef Yewdell (Sherbourne) but the try was given and the Lambs went in 5 – 13 down, despite some outstanding rugby.


In the second half the Lambs started well, getting the ball and plenty of momentum and width, before moving to within a score when the referee deemed to have heard a call to kick for posts after a penalty call; George Finney (Trent College) stepped up to take the score to 8-13.


At this stage Canada U19s had grown into the game and were keeping hold of the ball for long periods of time, whilst also punishing the Lambs’ penalty count with territory.


15 minutes into the second half they scored a catch and drive try, which they repeated on 25 minutes, with an individual score by the fly half sandwiched in-between.


The final 10 minutes saw plenty of fresh blood and energy for the Lambs and they pushed to get another try on the scoreboard, keeping the ball for long periods of time and continuing to break the Canadian defensive line between the 12/13 channel and out wide.


The final score never came, but a fantastic performance all the same. The game was one that could have gone either way. It was well balanced and full of exciting running rugby. Tom Wood (Millfield) was named Man of the Match.


The Lambs now move down to Seattle to face the Pacific Loggers XV (side attached) before returning to Canada to face Washington University U19s and British Columbia Select XV.


Speaking after the game, Lambs National Director Alex Laybourne said:


“Today was a fantastic game, well balanced whilst also evidencing the quality of rugby that the Lambs play. Canada U19s travel to the UK to face the home-nations this week, and we produced a performance that could well have resulted in a win.”


“Either way, the pressure we put them under and the number of line breaks and opportunities we created made it a superb spectacle. The players were a credit to themselves and the Lambs and we are looking forward to continuing on a successful tour.”


Full Time: Canada U19 30-8 ISRFC Lambs


ISRFC Lambs XV v Canada U19
15Henry WrightQueen Ethelburga’s
14Rafe YewdallSherborne
13Milo LinneyUppingham
12Eddie JenkinsonPortsmouth Grammar School
11Jamie ThorleyCheltenham College
10George FinneyTrent College
9Tobias AlldayRoyal Hospital School
1Didi Vidal-AdegunBishop’s Stortford College
2Matthew GallagherKirkham Grammar School
3Oscar HardmanHymers College
4Jack RyeFelsted
5Ben MallettMillfield
6George HartsonWycliffe College
7Tom WoodMillfield
8Matt Harris (captain)Berkhamsted
16Will BirdTaunton
17Alexander ZendaPangbourne College
18Thomas PettyTrinity
19Charlie AgboKing’s College, Taunton
20Tommie CollingwoodDenstone College
21Guy WhittakerHymers College
22Cedric Hoskyns-AbrahallRoyal Hospital School
23Sam HowellWellingborough
24Tom PittmanKing’s College, Taunton
25Francouis RoussowRoyal Hospital School
26Joshua HartDenstone College
27Daniel MarsikKent College, Canterbury
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