On Saturday the Lambs travelled to the depths of South Wales to face Crawshay’s Welsh at Merthyr RFC.
The game started at an almighty pace with possession changing hands regularly, testament to the ambition both teams were playing with. Eventually Crawshay’s got some sustained possession and following a penalty that they kicked to the corner they scored off a powerful catch and drive. The score was expertly converted from the touchline by the 10.
The Lambs replied as you would expect, and eventually they were rewarded with a score under the posts with a try made in the North, centre Angus Fiennes (King’s Macclesfield) bursting through the centres before offloading to schoolmate and captain Owen Jones who dotted down under the sticks. A second catch and drive score from Crawshay’s followed before the end-to-end nature of the game saw Joe Sawdon (Queen Ethalburga’s) score a Barbarian style try with a cheeky front ball option at the line out which he took on the return before crashing over the line. The Lambs then played some of the best rugby they have put on this season as they kept the ball alive and attached with ambition, second row Harvey Dickinson (Dean’s Close) the epitome of Lambs rugby and leading by example throughout.
Despite this the Crawshay’s nicked an interception try following a loose pass to extend the lead to 21-14, before captain Owen Jones (King’s Macclesfield) scored his second with a quick tap to go over under the posts. The half time whistle went at 21-21, the second half was set to be another cracker.
The Crawshay’s started the quickest in the second half, and a 15 minute spell saw them keep most of the possession and win the mainline battle, scoring three tries and two conversions to take a 21-40 lead. However, the Lambs, as we know, never give in. Will Perry (Taunton) made a break from his own 22 up to the Crawshay’s 22 and after some quick recycling Man of the Match Harvey Dickinson (Dean’s Close) dived over to bring the score to 28-40. As Crawshay’s tired the Lambs made some regular line breaks, Wilkins (Trent College) making a number of meters up the right wing. The Lambs appeared to have scored another as Dickinson once again went over, but the referee deemed the ball held up. The resulting scrum led to a penalty for Crawshays and they exited well to receive the pressure.
The game ended 28-40. 10 tries in total and some superb rugby on show from both sides. A truly great spectacle of U18s rugby in a game which could have gone either way.
Full Time: ISRFC Lambs 28-40 Crawshay’s Welsh
Speaking after the game the Lambs’ National Director, Alex Laybourne, said:
“We knew this would be a great game that would go down to the wire. I was really impressed with the boys, in the first half and towards the end of the second half they played some of the best Lambs ‘Fast and Free’ rugby that we have seen in some time. We had a slow start to the second half and ultimately that was the difference, however they stuck at it until the end and we were unlucky not to record an extra try or two in the last 5-10 minutes.”
“Crawshay’s are always an excellent side and we know it would be a tough day coming down to Wales, but there are some good lessons learnt moving forwards to Boys Club of Wales next Sunday and I know the Leadership team will help drive home those learnings in the final game before the South Africa tour.”
ISRFC Lambs XV v Crawshay’s Welsh
15 Archie Nicholson (St Edward’s, Oxford), 14 Thomas Wilkins (Trent College), 13 Magnus Carter-Burns (West Buckland), 12 Angus Fiennes (King’s Macclesfield), 11 Josh Loach (Hurstpierpoint College), 10 Charlie Dearman (New Hall), 9 Alessandro Aliberti (Shebbear College), 1 Thomas Handy (Bradford GS), 2 Joseph Sawdon (Queen Ethelburga’s), 3 Alfie Gibson (Millfield), 4 Harvey Dickenson (Dean Close), 5 Louis Fielden (Wellingborough), 6 Tyler Tomlinson (Felsted, vc), 7 Harry Green (Woodhouse Grove), 8 Owen Jones (King’s Macclesfield, captain).
Replacements: 16 Alex Smith (Millfield), 17 Max Loboda (Rossall), 18 Tommy Evans (KCS Wimbledon), 19 Thomas Walsh (Taunton), 20 Jack Corry (King’s Gloucester), 21 Daichi Budiman (Exeter), 22 William Perry (Taunton), 23 William Vanderpuye (The Oratory), 24 Ben Thewlis (Ashville College).
ISRFC Lambs Season Schedule:
Sunday 13th January – Lambs 24-46 Irish Exiles
Sunday 20th January – Lambs 60-12 London Scottish
Saturday 9th February – Lambs 28-40 Crawshays Welsh
Sunday 17th February – Lambs v Boys Club of Wales (Oakham RFC, 1pm)
Thursday 4th April – Tour Departs
Saturday 6th April – Lambs v Festival 1 (Kingswood College)
Monday 8th April – Lambs v Festival 2 (Kingswood College)
Wednesday 10th April – Lambs v Festival 3 (Kingswood College)
Saturday 13th April – Lambs v Western Province
Monday 15th April – Tour Returns