The Independent Schools Lambs and University of Nottingham U19s played out a well contested fixture on a heavy pitch at Highfield’s ground in Nottingham, with the University inflicting a first defeat of the season on the Lambs.
From the start a well organised UoN outfit put pressure on the Lambs with the ball in hand, and eventually the pressure led to an interception try for the UoN scrum half, Nick Bett, as they took a 0-7 lead after 15 minutes.
With plenty of spells in the game where the ball stayed in play for four or five minutes at the time, the game opened up and there were a number of impressive half breaks and opportunities for the Lambs, however they couldn’t get on the scoresheet despite the pressure.
As half time approached UoN scored from first phase as their impressive full back, Charlie Websdale, sliced through the centres to extend the lead to 0-14.
The second half started in a similar way to the first, and those who cast their memory back to the 47-33 win over Irish Exiles will remember the same script, as UoN scored a second interception try.
However, that seemed to be the trigger the Lambs needed as they pushed to play their fast and open game. The pressure eventually told as replacement scrum half Connor Mak (Felsted) dived over to reduce the deficit to 7-21 with ten minutes to go.
Following this, a try from under their own posts saw Reni Omotolilola (Bedford) score on his debut after Joe Martin (Portsmouth GS) gave a well timed final pass under pressure as the ball moved right to left at pace in the deadball area.
At 14-21 with five minutes to go the game was really coming to life. From the kick off the impressive Ollie Perkins (Berkhamsted) made a line break from his own 22, before the ball moved left right and took the Lambs to the UoN tryline.
Unfortunately for the Lambs, a knock on as the ball moved back across the line from 2 metres out signalled the end of the game and put an end to an impressive comeback for the Lambs.
Full Time: ISRFC Lambs 14-21 University of Nottingham U19s
Speaking after the game, the Lambs’ National Director, Alex Laybourne, said:
“Today’s game was a great event and we probably deserved at least a draw. Nottingham were a good side who stuck to their game plan and put us under pressure with and without the ball. Saying that, once we hit our stride we created a lot of pressure ourselves and may well have snuck it with another 10 minutes on the clock!”
“It was a well matched fixture and both sides got a lot from the game. It is a super opportunity for these players to be exposed to University rugby, both on the pitch and the environment in general, and it is certainly a fixture we hope to develop.”
The Lambs now have a weekend off before travelling to Boys Club of Wales on Sunday 18th February.
15 Luke Medcraft (Trinity), 14 Dan Luedicke (King’s College, Taunton), 13 Tom Watson (Framlingham College), 12 Byron Van Uden (Stamford), 11 Piers Martin (Felsted), 10 Alfie Orchard (Bedford, co-captain), 9 Harrison Emmett-Lee (Grammar School at Leeds), 1 Didi Vidal-Adegun (Bishop’s Stortford College), 2 Oliver Brown (Shiplake College), 3 Tom Eyston (Ampleforth College), 4 Max Humphries (Abingdon), 5 Louis Cooper (Berkhamsted), 6 William Barker (Felsted, co-captain), 7 Oliver Perkins (Berkhamsted), 8 Bradley Hutler (Wisbech GS).
Replacements: 16 Joe Martin (Portsmouth GS), 17 Sam Wright (Rugby), 18 William Spendlove (Stockport GS), 19 Paddy Langdale (Radley College), 20 Owen Jones (King’s Macclesfield), 21 Connor Mak (Felsted), 22 Beau Roberts (Reed’s), 23 Ollie Hills (Felsted), 24 Charlie Hudson (St Peter’s, York).
Nottingham University U19s
15 Charlie Websdale, 14 Tom Byers, 13 Tom Griffiths, 12 Matt Chalcraft, 11 Tom Travis, 10 Will Taylor, 9 Nick Bett, 1 Lawrence Davies, 2 Nick Phizackerley, 3 Henry Low, 4 Oliver Richardson, 5 Billy Elliston, 6 Felix Griffin (c), 7 Alix Jones, 8 Marcus Sotiriou.
Replacements: 16 Dom Armstrong, 17 Josh Stibbs, 18 Ryan Auila, 19 Ben Morley, 20 Dominic Deery, 21 Jayhan Selvarajah.
Reni Omotolilola (Bedford)
Connor Mak (Felsted)
Beau Robert (Reeds) x 2
Man of the Match:
Ollie Perkins (Berkhamsted)