venue: Hostler Centre AUB, Beirut
2nd August 2012
Full Match Report
LIBAN ESPOIR v ENGLISH LIONS U18
The second and final match of English Lions Under-18 historic tour to Lebanon – the first by any official England side to the Eastern Mediterranean country - ended with a crushing 56-0 victory for the tourists on a very hot and humid Thursday night in Beirut. The English scored 11 tries in total, four in the first half and as they overcame a willing and at times skillful Liban Espoir outfit to register a second convincing win, following the first win, 40-0 on Saturday.
The visitors had recovered from the stomach bug that knocked out key players Jack Jones and Jack Green prior to the first test while the Lebanese were weakened through the loss of halfbacks Jason and Andrew Gergess (unexpected withdrawal before the match) and prop Atef Hamdan, with a shoulder injury. 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, twice, 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. 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.
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, 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.”
Pictured: Abed Ghazzawi streaks away after an intercept.
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, Mohamad Itani, Maxime Chalhoub
ENGLISH LIONS U18
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