[quote_left]Hazelwood, midweek under the floodlights, felt special[/quote_left]

With the final play of the match, LIARFC Under 15s PUT BOOT into Wellington College

The fixture with Wellington College was arranged last Summer – Wellington College U15 coach, with confidence and foresight, wanted a good workout before the Nat West Quarter final – and we were more than happy to oblige. Some outside the age group may have felt we had bitten off more than we could chew, but within the squad we were quietly confident we would be competitive – we may be the amateur club, but our approach to our rugby has never been amateurish.

The boys had been looking forward to the game for weeks and were quickly out of the blocks, driving the first two line outs 15 metres. 3 – 0, 3 all, 6 – 3, for all their territory and with a dominant scrum, the Young Geese failed to convert pressure into points and then fell asleep at a breakdown, leaving the blind side unguarded and gifting Wellington a long range try. 6 10 down at the end of the first 3rd.

[blockquote]Report from Paddy Hanlon[/blockquote]

The second third the boys in green edged two tries to one – Lennan powering over from close range after a lovely blindside break from a scrum from Joel and Kyle finishing off a fine move on the right wing. As the second session came to a close, Wellington led 20 18.

Both teams emptied the bench for the final twenty. Wellington’s younger guns tore into Irish and bombarded the Irish line, going close several times. As the clock ticked on, Irish struggled to find field possession. Then this happened: the forwards turned the ball over ten metres into their own half, Joel put up a speculative high kick which Wellington failed to field, the ball was scooped up by the jester, who made fast yards down the right and then checked inside and fed Luke; Luke stepped right, off loaded to the pocket dynamite, Joe, who cut right and with Welly boys coming at him from every angle, magnificently offloaded to Kyle to score unopposed. The Jester converted. Final score: London Irish u15s 25 Wellington College 20.

The only downside to a wonderful evening was the broken arm injury sustained to George, the Welly centre and the calf injury to Oscar, that sees him out for 6 weeks. We wish them both well in their recovery. Wellington College U15s play a magnificent, expansive brand of rugby that will fuel their pursuit of silverware. For the Young Geese, the defence of the Inter Counties Cup looms – we know from past experience, that the same level of performance is needed to defeat the might of Southend and Old Es. Can we make it three cup wins in a row? They are a team, the majority of Wednesday’s squad first pulled on the green jersey at the age of 6 – they bleed green and if they fall short, it will never be for lack of effort.

Thank you to all those that turned up to support us and to Damien Porter for lending his expertise in the build up. Hazelwood, midweek under the floodlights, it felt special, perhaps for the first time since the move from The Avenue, it felt like home.