Three NLD players took part in the traditional game for the Midlands U18’s team on Sunday against the independent schools side, The Lambs, as warm up for their Divisional Game and England Trial against The North on 21 February.
Callum Slack, James Newman and Adam Castle were all part of the starting line up in a match played in very blustery conditions at Uppingham School on a pitch only passed fit to play on Saturday evening.
Both sides demonstrated their intent to play heads up rugby through the hands, although the conditions ensured there were plenty of handling errors during the early exchanges. The Midlands players worked hard across the midfield to counter the width that The Lambs were determined to maintain and the pressure exerted by the Midlands team finally produced its reward with a well worked try half way through the first half.
Spectators would agree that there was little to choose between two ambitious sides, however, tries late in the first half saw the Midlands team go in to the break 19 – 7 up.
Increasing pressure on The Lambs possession created several turnover opportunities and the Midlands continued to enjoy the more productive possession with good work defensively as well as in attack.
In the final minutes, Midlands added a last try and the match finished 38-7 in favour of the home side. In the end, the score line reflected a little harshly on The Lambs side who stuck to their philosophy of keeping the ball in hand right to the final whistle.
Callum, James and Adam now await the announcement of the final U18’s Midlands squad later this week and will hope to be part of the team that plays The North at Macclesfield later in the month.