After a tight 7-10 loss to Irish Exiles two weeks ago, The Lambs took on Coventry Academy on Sunday at Butts Park Arena.
With 15 new Lambs taking to the field, it was down to captain George Jones (Millfield) and vice-captain Charles Warren (Mount Kelly) to get the group up to speed in their limited preparation time.
The game started frantically, with Coventry having the ball in the opening stages before on 5 minutes The Lambs finally got hold of the ball on their own try line. Working from side to side, they eventually worked their way to the half way line before the outstanding Connor MacMillan (Shebbear College) made a clean break to score under the posts, after beating the full back 1 on 1. Conversion by Ted Church (MTS, Crosby) 7-0.
Almost immediately after this MacMillan made another break before releasing Player of the Match Antonio Suarez (Mount Kelly) to score his first, which came through a flash dummy as he looked to play the 1-2 but instead stepped infield to finish the score. Coventry then responded with a penalty (12-3) after being held up over the line after some great work from a very powerful forward pack.
The last 10 minutes of the first half then saw a flurry of scores as the Lambs hit a purple (pink!) patch, Loftus (Sir Thomas Rich’s) took a quick tap penalty on the half way line before releasing the impressive Barrett (Ampleforth) to score under the posts (19-3) before Kyan Cherwayko (King’s Canterbury) took advantage of a spilt ball by Coventry to rush in under the posts two minutes later (26-3). The half then finished with a well-deserved Coventry pick and go score, before Suarez scored his second following some lovely offloading rugby by the Lambs, who were in full flow at this point. Half time 31-8 to the Lambs.
The second half was a slightly different story, the wind picked up and the Coventry 12 used it to his full advantage with a couple of huge clearance kicks and a lovely 50-22. The Lambs continued to play fast and free, but it was Coventry this time who benefited from a loose ball, scooping it up and scoring under the posts (31-15). The Lambs were nearly the masters of their own undoing, and for the 2nd game running spent 5 minutes down to 13 with two back to back yellows. After holding Coventry up twice, legally, they finally succumbed to the pressure and gave away successive penalties to lead to the two cards. Coventry opted for the corner and scored a well worked catch and drive score (31-20).
Miraculously, Suaraz completed his Hatrick when down to 13 – picking up an offload from some big midfield carries (38-20) before Coventry set up a nervous finish for the Lambs with the 12 scoring a very ‘joue’ try, with some Marcus Smith style dancing as he was forced backwards, before finding a gap and ghosting through. Certainly a well deserved score. Final score 38-27.
Quote “We played some outstanding rugby today, the boys really brought in to the Fast and Free approach from the off and the ambition, freedom and enjoyment the boys played with laid the foundations for the performance. George Jones has really moulded the group well across the last two games and the general leadership from within the group shows just why we should trust these players as much as we do!”