Woodbridge enjoy Italian job

WOODBRIDGE School's rugby squad have been hailed by their coach following two impressive tour wins in Italy.

Stuart Watson

WOODBRIDGE School's rugby squad have been hailed by their coach following two impressive tour wins in Italy.

The Suffolk school took a 20-man squad over to Italy to play two competitive games against Rugby Vicenza and Calvisano and decided to adopt a playing policy that ensured all players had at least two thirds of match time in each game.

In their first encounter, Woodbridge outclassed Rugby Vicenza 41-26 in a game which saw fly-half Ben Havard set free his outside centre Alex Basey-Fisher to score a hat-trick and winger Jack Cousins pick up a brace of tries in a wonderfully open attacking game.

Vicenza hit back to keep in contention throughout the game with some powerful forward momentum but were unable to reduce the deficit sufficiently.

After a few days of training, watching Rugby Rovigo beat Dax in the European Challenge and taking in the cultural delights of Venice, Woodbridge travelled to play the Italian champions Calvisano.

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Calvisano selected a strong mix of both Under-19 and U17 players to counteract the tourists and for the first 15 minutes the game looked to be one step too far for the Woodbridge boys.

However, suddenly Woodbridge were awarded a series of penalties just inside the Calvisano half and Stuart Green and Joe Atkinson stepped up to slot critical points which started to mount up and up, reversing the pressure back onto Calvisano.

With 15 minutes remaining Woodbridge were leading 18-12 and the players were defending with all that they could muster.

Two more penalties and a late Tom Warren try frustrated the proud Calvisano players as Woodbridge ended up winning 26-12 and leaving tour captain Aidan Grier's team undefeated.

Coach Adam Lubbock said: “The day started well with a relaxing boat trip around Lake Garda which obviously helped focus the players into producing without question one of the best all round performance by a Woodbridge team for many years.

“This tour has proved to be a great success and as a coach it is always great when you are able to take players to a new playing level.

“They have trained hard all season and knew that when they were on tour that playing rugby was their main objective.

“The training on tour allowed us to give more structure to how we were trying to play and it is wonderful for all the boys when things go well and a great scalp like Calvisano is achieved.”

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