NLD U20s started the 2019 campaign with a dazzling performance against a strong East Midlands U20s. The blues secured an impressive 39-12 victory scoring a total of seven tries.
Derby RFC hosted the match and conditions were good with clear bright skies and a rather placid wing.
The squad comprised of:
Dan Lamb – Nottingham Trent University
Jordan Butcher – Spalding RFC
Jake Hicklin – West Bridgford RFC
James Bennett – Nottingham Corsairs RFC
John Cooke-Rogers – Melbourne RFC
George Harris – West Bridgford RFC
Jonny Morley – Belper RFC
George Pomfret – Lincoln RFC
Natty Brisco – West Bridgford RFC
Olly Overman – Derby RFC
Xander Purcell – West Bridgford RFC
Josh Sarsfield – Scunthorpe RFC
Jamie Murray – Nottingham Trent University
Finlay Tweedie – Newark RFC
Hugo Kellaway – Nottingham University
Iago Davies – West Bridgford RFC
Joe Barnes – Long Eaton RFC / Nottingham Academy
Harry Clempson – Nottingham Trent University
Josh Bloomfield – Nottingham Trent University
Andrew Brown – West Bridgford RFC
Robert Aikman – Nottingham University
Will Taylor – Paviors RFC
Logan Watt – Newark RFC
Joshua Beech – Melbourne RFC
The first twenty minutes were played with real ferocity and tempo with an early score for Iago Davis and two for Will Taylor. NLD’s ball retention was impressive as they recycled the ball with purpose and probed the opposition’s defence time and again. NLD dominated the game in the early stages as they controlled the key facets including scrum, lineout and backplay.
The second twenty saw a shift in momentum as East Midlands used their burly backrow runners to good effect. NLD coped well with these threats until a class line was run by their backrow who had power and pace to break through the home side’s defensive line to score. They soon had a second score with a quick pick and go from a couple of metres out. Before the first half was up NLD had scored a fourth try as the pace of the backline saw the ball spread wide left for a beautiful offload out of the tackle which Bloomfield raced onto to score.
Despite dominating the first period, NLD were challenged with playing with more composure and structure in the second half, as identified by the players leadership group. Ensuring the full squad was used, several interchanges had already been made in the first period, and more were to follow.
The second half started as the first had ended, with great energy and tempo from the home side. East Midlands were tiring and NLD continued to press hard with the ball in hand. Three more tries followed as Aikman, Brisco and Brown breached East Midlands’ defence to round off a fabulous performance with a fantastic result.
Each player represented the three counties with real pride and passion. A true testament to the great nature of the sport. Well done to all involved.