Aylesbury’s England contingent too strong for overseas rivals

Rob Taylor dives over for an England try (pictures by Mark Bannister)
Rob Taylor dives over for an England try (pictures by Mark Bannister)

As part of Aylesbury Rugby Club’s build up to this year’s Rugby World Cup, an international game was organised by the club to be played under floodlights at Ostler’s Field.

Two teams made up of Aylesbury RFC players took to the pitch in front of a packed Ostler’s Field last weekend.

England XV

England XV

One team of English ARFC players, sporting a bespoke white and red England strip, took on a team made up of Aylesbury players from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and overseas who also wore a specially designed blue and green style strip representing the Rest of the World.

The weather was perfect for the event as the two teams lined up across the pitch in glorious sunshine while the Rugby World Cup anthem was played followed by the national anthem for England.

The Rest of the World team were quick to get points on the board through a penalty kick from Dave Stow, but the dominance of the England XV pack started to show which soon resulted in a penalty try for the men in white.

This was then followed by three more tries for England and the teams went into the break with the score at 26-3.

Read of the World XV

Read of the World XV

The second half saw more of the same from the strong England XV as they ran in a further four tries to take an unassailable 48-3 lead.

The final word went to the Rest of the World XV as they ran a late try under the posts to make the final scoreline 48-10 to the England XV.

The whole event was hailed as a resounding success for the club and following the game, a packed clubhouse enjoyed the sounds of local band The Lewis Brothers until late into the night.

Aylesbury head coach Dave Larham said afterwards: “The game should be viewed as a huge success from both an event perspective and as a pre-season friendly.

“While on paper the England XV contained the majority of established first XV players, I think the Rest of the World XV won the moral victory with a spirited performance, inspired by their captain Adam Moore.

“The game was a good opportunity to view the fitness and playing ability of 44 players after a tough pre-season, with outstanding performances from several players.

“The England XV demonstrated a sharp set-piece and excellent finishing, while the Rest of the World XV made the breakdown very competitive and highlighted a few technical and tactical elements that we will need to focus on before our next outing at Dunstablians.

“So all in all, an excellent first workout that was superbly delivered and supported by our membership and supporters.

“Our challenges now ahead of our first league game are to ensure that we select a team that is well-balanced, motivated and accurate.”

Aylesbury’s first league game comes against Wallingford next Saturday.