The ISRFC Lambs made it two wins from two for the 2018 season with a 29-17 win over Exeter Chiefs U17 on Sunday.
On a cold and wet day at Exeter University the Independent Schools National XV made a number of changes to the side as the squad rotated, it was an almost new side to the one that took the field in the 47-33 win over Irish Exiles at Maidenhead RFC.
Led once again by Alfie Orchard (Bedford) and Will Barker (Felsted), the Lambs got stuck in right from the start, working their way out of their own 22 with the ball in hand.
After a good length of time with possession the pressure finally showed as the centres combined, Ollie Hills (Felsted) offloading to Oliver Mann (Wisbech Grammar School) who ran in for the opening try.
Exeter the began to exert more pressure in defence pressing hard on a Lambs side trying to stretch the ball as often as they could. The stretched defence finally left a gap for Alfie Orchard to dart through and score a superb solo try and extend the lead to 12-0.
Exeter Chiefs though, much like their senior side, were never going to roll over and a well executed pick and go try made the score 12-7 at half time.
Exeter Chiefs cam out firing in the second half and an organised catch and drive put them over in the opening two minutes, drawing the game level. They then had a significant amount of possession and territory, but a superb pink wall stopped anything else coming through. All of a sudden defence became attack and Matthew Hackney (Rugby School) picked off an interception to go 80 meters and score in the corner.
As the game approached the end the final six minutes were frantic. Exeter scored an interception try of their own to draw level, before the Lambs finally got hold of possession from the kick off and after some good ball retention and control Man of the Match Aiden Ali (Cheltenham) powered over in the middle of the pitch, with the Exeter defence having been stretched wide and wide.
At 24-17 it seemed to be the end, but the Lambs had one more trick up their sleeve, a fantastic line by Jack Trundley (Wisbech Grammar School) saw him score his third of the season and the game finish 29-17 to the Lambs.
Full Time: Exeter Chiefs 17-29 ISRFC Lambs
Speaking after the game the ISRFC Lambs’ National Director, Alex Laybourne, said:
“It was another great performance from the squad today and it shows the strength of the group we have selected. They have all brought into the ‘Fast and Free’ philosophy and the Leadership Group have taken a real lead in getting the squad to commit to that.”
“We were particularly please with the defence today, having spent a lot of time in our own 22 in the second half. Exeter Chiefs are a great side and it was a good win.”
After back to back wins the Lambs now have a week off ahead of their trip to Nottingham University to take on their U19 side on Sunday 4th February (2pm kick off).
ISRFC Lambs XV:
15 Luke Medcraft (Trinity), 14 Dan Luedicke (King’s College, Taunton), 13 Oliver Mann (Wisbech GS), 12 Ollie Hills (Felsted), 11 Matthew Hackney (Rugby), 10 Alfie Orchard (Bedford, co-captain), 9 Connor Mak (Felsted), 1 John Petty (Trinity), 2 Joe Martin (Portsmouth GS), 3 Tom Weightman (Truro), 4 Toby Risebrow (Framlingham College), 5 Bradley Hutler (Wisbech GS), 6 Aiden Ali (Cheltenham College), 7 Jack Kelly (Kingswood), 8 Henry Reed-Purvis (Bradford GS).
Replacements: 16 Sam Wright (Rugby), 17 Ben Keen (St Benedict’s), 18 William Barker (Felsted, co-captain), 19 Tyler Tomlinson (Felsted), 20 Olly Penney (Kingswood), 21 Sasha Efimov (Pangbourne College) 22 Jack Trundley (Wisbech GS).
Oliver Mann (Wisbech GS)
Alfie Orchard (Bedford)
Matt Hackney (Rugby)
Aiden Ali (Cheltenham College)
Jack Trundley (Wisbech GS)
Alfie Orchard (Bedford) (2)
Man of the Match:
Aiden Ali (Chelteham College)
Images via Jim Laybourne