After 7 of their team represented Dragons U18s on Friday afternoon Rob Burgwin's Youth team went on tour to Holland early on Saturday morning. This afternoon (Sunday) a slightly depleted, through injury and availability, team won the Amsterdam tournament scoring 17 tries and conceding just 2 in their four games.
With only 16 players available for the first game against Dutch team Deventer RFC AKA the Pickwick Players it was a very unusual looking Youth team that took the field. The only front rower available was tight head Taylor Hansen. So this meant scrum half Cole Jones took on the hooking duties for the first time and back rower Morgan Thomas was pressed into loose-head duties. Powerful no.8 Garin Price opened the scoring for the day and also added a second a bit later on. The match was only 20 minutes long but The Youth did not hang around as further tries were run in by Gibson Rooke, Luke Shore, Tom Deinko and Cole Jones with Iwan Burgwin converting 3 of the 6 tries for a 36-0 scoreline.
The second match was a tighter affair as The Youth came up against Dutch team Utrecht Rugby Club. Full back Jack Davies continued the out of position theme for the day as he featured on the wing. Tries were scored by Gibson Rooke and flyer Tyler Lewis with Burgwin converting both for a 14-7 win. Crucially in this game though, livewire second row Alistair Crockett was injured.
The next game was against host team Rugby Club Hilversum but it was in this game that the injuries started to mount up for The Youth. With only 15 players available flanker Jack Littlejohns went into the second row alongside fellow back rower George Price and big winger Tom Deinko came into the pack on the blindside. The Youth were now playing with 9 backs and just 6 forwards. During the game the situation took a nose dive as firstly centre Ethan Chess and then substitute prop Morgan Thomas were both taken off and towards the end the Youth had just 13 men on the field. However such is the skill set of this squad that they were able to score 6 tries through: Gibson Rooke once more, Garin Price for his 28th of the season, Tom Deinko for his 10th try and 50th point of the season, Jack Littlejohns, and Tyler Lewis added a brace with Burgwin converting one for a 32-7 winning margin.
So to the Final against Medway RFC from Kent who were the only other unbeaten team in the tournament. The Youth had just 13 players available. Injured Alistair Crockett put his hand up – well he would of if he could have lifted it and Big Trev was called upon to plug the gap in the dam. In the first 5 minutes of the game the backs showed their class and the blistering speed of full back Luke Shore saw him cross the whitewash twice, with Burgwin converting both. Fiery scrum half Zach Morgan and his half back partner Burgwin continued to rally the troops and run a fast flowing and commanding Newbridge attack. The last try of the tournament was scored by open side Euan Lewis who managed to reach over despite the defenders very close attentions. “The Final” final score was 19-0 and Captain Euan Lewis received the winning team trophy on behalf of The Youth.
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