Lambs Beat Notts
After a hard fought battle in difficult conditions last week against Coventry, the fixture was played in relatively good conditions, despite the cold. This allowed The Lambs to throw the ball about a little bit more than they did last week, whilst they also showed far more control in their execution of the Fast and Free philosophy.
The Lambs started at a ferocious pace with the pressure telling in the opening stages as they played wide to wide. Lewis Hyland-Dugbo (Woodhouse Grove) showed some unbelievable speed to finish in the left hand corner and put the boys in pink 5-0 ahead. This was followed up with more high paced rugby and eventually Oundle captain Ben Hampden-Smith got on the end of a Guy Butterworth (Sir John Lawes) break, before interchanging with Jack Seymour (Emmanuel) who was brought down just short of the line. Hampden-Smith then charged over off the next phase to extend the lead to 12-0.
As ever, the Academy sides will never back down and almost immediately they responded with a fantastic 1st phase score off the back of a midfield scrum. They then got an intercept score to bring the scores to 12-12 with some equally quick speed on show. The game was fully on!
A number of replacements during the first half then added some energy back into The Lambs game. Man of the Match Henley College fly-half Luke Talbot was a key part of this and got himself on the score-sheet with his very first touch of the ball. The energy stayed high and eventually another Talbot break let The Lambs flood the gap and the impressive Callum Hall (King’s Ely) took the inside pass to finish off a length of the field score and take the game to 24-12 at half term.
The second half started at a similar pace to the first, but both teams showed stoic defences and high work rate to keep each other out. As the game came into the final quarter it took some great build up play from Vice-captain Alex Rowe (Mount Kelly) and captain Seb Dickins (Felsted) to put The Lambs in a great position, before some individual brilliance from Seymour (Emmanuel) saw him score in the corner (29-12). This score picked the team in pink up and the other Vice-captain Callum Hall got his second, carving through the defence on an outward arc. The game then finished with an equally impressive score in the final play as Charlie McHale (Felsted) made a break on the half-way line and fed Bishop Stortford full-back Tom Howell to slide in under the posts, taking the final score to 41-12.
Director of Rugby Alex Laybourne said:
“It was a great performance from the boys against a strong Nottingham side. The players took the lessons we talked about from the previous four games and adapted, as well as playing fast and free, but with control and execution of the basics. I am delighted for those playing their last XVs game of school-boy rugby to go out on that performance, whilst it is also a great way to set us up for the South Africa tour.”