The ISRFC Lambs kicked off their 2018 season with an impressive 47-33 win over Irish Exiles U18 at Maidenhead RFC.
The gamestarted with real pace and tempo, with both teams looking to play ambitious rugby. The Lambs looked like they would open the scoring in the first few minutes as they stretched the Exiles defence and pressed hard in their 22, however the Exiles inside centre picked off a loose pass to run the length of the field and put them 0-7 ahead.
The Lambs continued to play ambitious running rugby and eventually the pressure paid off as Tom Eyston (Ampleforth College) picked up a loose ball and powered over to draw the scores level.
A second try quickly followed as some excellent hands freed Will Kay (Stockport Grammar) to score his first of two and extend the lead to 12-7 before Alex Liley (St Peter’s, York) ran a superb line to cut open the Exiles defence and take the score to 19-7.
As half time drew closer the Exiles worked hard to get themselves back into the game, and a superb bit of individual skill saw a sublime offload put them through for their second of the game. The Lambs, however, responded immediately as Kay scored his second, taking the half time score to 26-14.
The second half started in very similar fashion to the first,with the Lambs pressuring the Exiles line and the Exiles scoring a length of the field interception try. The game then saw both replacement 9s score sniping tries, Jack Trundley (Wisbech Grammar School) was first, followed by the Exiles scrum half, taking the score to 33-28 with 15 minutes still to play.
The excellent Charlie Hudson (St Peter’s, York) then finished a great team try and the Lambs appeared to be more comfortable, however the Exiles, never a team to give up or who should be written off, made an immediate reply.
At 40-33 a tense finish was inevitable, as is always the case in these fixtures. The Lambs managed to then finish the game off in style, as Kay pressed for his hat-rick the covering Exiles defence forced him towards the touchline, an offload back infield went to the trailing Jack Trundley who went over for his second of the game in the last play.
Full Time: ISRFC Lambs 47-33 Irish Exiles U18
Speaking after the game, Lambs National Director Alex Laybourne said:
“Today was one of the best opening season performances that we have seen from any Lambs side. The group were led superbly by Alfie Orchard and Will Barker, on and off the pitch, and they gelled quickly as a group. They didn’t look like they had only met and come together a few hours beforehand. It is a really exciting start to the season and we are thoroughly looking forward to the upcoming fixtures.”
The Lambs are back in action again right away, with a first ever game against the Exeter Chiefs Academy coming up this Sunday at Exeter University, ahead of a rest week before their game against Nottingham University U19s.
ISRFC Lambs XV v Irish Exiles U18:
15 Charles Hudson (St Peter’s, York), 14 Darren Ali-Scott (Queen Ethelburga’s), 13 Oliver Mann (Wisbech GS), 12 Alex Liley (St Peter’s, York), 11 William Kay (Stockport GS), 10 Alfie Orchard (Bedford, co-captain), 9 Harrison Emmett-Lee (Grammar School at Leeds, vc), 1 Tom Eyston (Amplfeforth College, vc), 2 Hugh Phillipson (Berkhamsted), 3 William Spendlove (Stockport GS), 4 Max Humphries (Abingdon), 5 Paddy Langdale (Radley College), 6 Owen Jones (King’s Macclesfield), 7 Oliver Perkins (Berkhamsted), 8 William Barker (Felsted, co-captain).
Replacements: 16 Harry Mason (Reed’s), 17 Henry Massey (Millfield), 18 John Petty (Trinity, vc), 19 Harry Taylor (Kingswood), 20 Louis Cooper (Berkhamsted), 21 Jack Trundley (Wisbech GS), 22 Beau Roberts (Reed’s), 23 Sasha Efimov (Pangbourne College, vc).
Man of the Match: Alfie Orchard (Bedford)
Will Kay (Stockport GrammarS) – 2
Jack Trundley (Wisbech Grammar) – 2
Alex Liley (St Peter’s, York) – 1
Charlie Hudson (St Peter’s, York) – 1
Tom Eyston (Ampleforth College) – 1
Alfie Orchard (Bedford) – 6
Images via Jim Laybourne