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Exiles U-18 Go Down Bravely

Exiles U-18 Go Down Bravely

An Exiles Under-18 team, which was selected from players based in north England, north Wales and Scotland, played an Independent Schools Barbarians side that now includes the Scottish schools in their selection.

Unfortunately, the Exiles U-18s succumbed to a strong ISB team who ran out 55-17 winners. The Exiles started strongly but a series of defensive errors let the ISB run in a couple of early tries, putting the young Exiles side under pressure.

The Exiles exerted plenty of pressure and certainly did not lack any commitment. However, unforced errors let the ISB off the hook on many occasions and their physicality and pace told as they ran in three more tries in the first half to open up a 30-0 half-time lead.

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The second half started much as the first half did with the Exiles applying pressure but unlike earlier the Exiles were able to cross the whitewash and register their first score with some good ball retention and some strong running from hooker George McGuigan and Aidan Heron.

This lifted the boys and the second half became much more of a contest. The ISB scored again but the Exiles responded with a well-worked try when young winger Oliver Berry went over in the corner.

The ISB dominance in the match told as they ran in another couple of tries but a determined Exiles team stuck to their task and finished the game with another Berry try after some slick handling put the winger over for his second.

Notably, the ISB have raised their game and standard of player, but the scoreline did not reflect the competitiveness of the game with the Exiles’ mistakes letting the ISB in for a couple of easy scores.

The Exiles in no way let themselves down and although the score was comprehensive, there were some outstanding performances from McGuigan, Heron and Tom King, with others such as Berry, Joshua Reid and Jonathan Hogg also showing well.

The fixture was held at King Edward’s School in Lytham for the first time and was hosted fantastically by the school. It is a venue that will be used again.