Rugby Lions Juniors

Smells like teen spirit

Young lions in spirited performance against Earlsdon

Rugby Lions U14s finally got the chance to fulfil their Warwickshire Plate playoff against Earlsdon on the third attempt following both flooded and frozen pitches in previous weeks.

Unfortunately, due to injuries and unavailability, Lions headed into the game with just 14 players against Earlsdon’s squad of 23 and situations were made worse following the withdrawal of two more players during the warm-up.

Earlsdon opened the scoring after five minutes with an easily-worked try down the wing following a penalty. Undeterred, the Lions quickly retaliated with some great phase play which was rewarded when a strong turnover at the ruck was won by Luke Broomhead, a feed from Heath Cresswell led to an under-the-posts try from full-back Richard Phipps which was duly converted by Alfie-Leighton-Lambert.

Lions continued their attacking pressure but were caught unaware with a quick break down the far wing by Earlsdon to take the lead, with the conversion slipping to the right of the posts. A quick reply from Lions saw Broomhead pick and go through the ruck to touch down between the posts for Leighton-Lambert to convert again, lions now leading 10-14.

Both teams traded pressure before Earlsdon scored on the brink of half-time, converted to leave the Lions trailing 17-14 at half-time.

The second half saw the Lions struggling as Earlsdon were able to replace all their players with much greater squad numbers resulting in the Coventry side scoring from kick-off, quickly followed by another forwards try, which both were converted. Lions forward Charlie Strahan had to be removed from the field due to injury but the Lions were undeterred, showing great tacking from Hugo Sandilands and particularly Luke Broomhead, who - on his 14th birthday - put in 20+ tackles throughout the game.

Lions were constantly looking to attack and after great team play, captain Alfie Leighton-Lambert chipped over the Earlsdon defence, rounding to score a well-deserved try, his conversion from the 5-meter line whistling past the post. Despite searching for further points, Lions were unlucky to concede a further unconverted try at the death of the game and win 36-19 to proceed to the next round to face Harbury.

Whilst Lions may have been on the receiving end of a defeat, their team performance was nothing short of excellent, especially due to having half the numbers that Earlsdon posted in their match-day squad. We wish Earlsdon all the best for their cup-run and look forward to taking the positivity gained from this amazing Lions squad forward to our forthcoming games.

You learn much more in defeat than you do in victory and whilst I may have coached some of these boys for so many years, I cannot remember a time I was prouder of them as right now.


Jamie Lambert

Rugby Lions U14 coach

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