English Lions Under-18s win second game
The second and final match of the English Lions Under-18s tour of Lebanon ended with a 56-0 victory for the touring side on a very hot and humid Thursday night in Beirut at the USA sponsored University.
The English scored 11 tries in total, four in the first half as they overcame a willing and at times skilful Liban Espoir outfit to register a second convincing win following their first 40-0 test victory last Saturday.
The visitors had recovered from the stomach bug that knocked out key players Jack Jones and Jack Green prior to the first test and both players played their part in this match.
The weather with a sweltering 32 degrees heat at kick off but the tourists quickly hit their straps on AUB’s impressive 3G surface, their training base for the tour.
Tries in the first half from Leon Crellin, Tyler Craig, Ben Garner and Karl Dixon took the team to a 26 – 0 half time score with the best of the tires coming from a sweeping move that saw Scott Pink finish in fine style, conversions from Jones 2, and Sheridan completed the scoring for the Lions.
The second half started with a cracking try from half back Lewis Sheridan who supported a fine break from a Crellin break, further tries from Garner adding to the one he scored in the first half, with two fine support tries from full back Sam Forrester meant the game was out of reach for the tiring Lebanese outfit.
Adam Jefferson made a great break to score under the posts following good work around the ruck from tour captain Marcus O`Brien who has had a fine tour.
A late try from Dixon who had dominated the game and took the MOM award for his fine effort, conversions from Sheridan and the final kick of the game from Forrester completed the scoring at 56 – 0 to the dominant English Lions.
Kelvin Lockett, the Lions head coach, was impressed by his team’s performance: “I was very pleased with all the squad and knew that once we had all our key players functioning we would be too much for the spirited Espoir side.
“I am really happy that the senior players who will now leave this age group, Tour Captain Marcus O`Brian, Sam Forrester, Tyler Craig and Adam Jefferson have played so well on tour, they will I believe go on to have great careers at whatever level of the game they aspire to.”
His counterpart, Espoir coach, Robin Hachache, was upbeat with his team’s performance despite the score: “Our youngsters were always going to do it tough against the more seasoned English side, but the team really had a good go.
“We will go back to the drawing board, however we know we have played a quality team and I was very proud of the way the team played today.”
English Lions Under-18s
Sam Forester, Ben Garner, Danny Rowell, Leon Tatlock, Scott Pink, Karl Dixon, Jack Jones, Adam Jefferson , Marcus O`Brian, Jamie Tracie , Perry Singleton, Leon Crellin, Tyler Craig. Subs: Chris Tomlinson, Tom Whittle, Ethan Kelly, Matty Cooke, Ian Curnow, Lewis Sheridan, Jack Green
English Lions Tries: Leon Crellin, Tyler Craig, Ben Garner 2, Scott Pink, Karl Dixon 2, Lewis Sheridan, Sam Forester 2, Adam Jefferson
English Lions Goals: Jack Jones 2/5, Karl Dixon 0/1, Lewis Sheridan 3/ 4, Sam Forester 1/1,
Jad Gebreal , Charbel Khatter, Alexandre lattouf, Abed Ghazzawi, Roger Tohme, Joe Zeidan, Mohamed Merheb, Michael Moubarak, Samer Nehme, Toni Moubarak, Moutaz Mourad, steve fadel, Nabil Tawil, Subs: Sami Assaf, , Steve Fadel, Mohamad Itani, Maxime Chalhoub,
Yellow Card: Toni Moubarak
Referee: Faysal Jaber, Touch Judges: Gaby Haddad, Nayef Abi Said, 4th Official: George Rahal.
After the game awards were made to the Player of the match and Kark Dixon from Wath Brow was judged by both teams to be the player of the match, with hooker Samer Nehme the best player for the Espoir`s.
A further presentation was made to the English Lions Player of the tour, this was selected by the English Lions Management and was made to Heworth Loose Forward Tyler Craig for his MOM performance in the first game and his terrific display in the second game.
Kelvin Lockett added: “I have really enjoyed the tour the boys have been terrific ambassadors for the game in the England.
“I would like to that the RFL Community board for this opportunity for us to support the development of the game in Lebanon, the staff have been great and I would like to put on record my thanks to Raymond Safi, the RRLF Chief operating Officer for his support”.