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Maryland Youth Rugby Hosts Warm School Of UK

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Maryland Youth Rugby Hosts Warm School Of UK

Maryland Exiles Youth Rugby hosted the Yarm School this past weekend in their first match against the Rugby Maryland Select XV, as Yarm completed the first leg of their 18-day, five-fixture tour of the United States and Canada. 

One of the top-tier high school teams in the UK, Yarm brought a tour party of 31 players and five coaches and administrators.

The match kicked off with the Yarm School 1st XV playing at a furious pace, recycling the ball and restructuring the defense at a furious place driving their Rugby Maryland opposition backwards.  It didn't take long for the Yarm School to be rewarded for their pressure with two converted tries, both by Sol Kench. Rugby Maryland responded with a patient buildup through the middle of the field and then shifting the ball to center Logan O'Connell.  The 6-1, 185 sophomore zigzagged his way through the Yarm defense to touchdown a try between the posts for a converted try to get his team back in the game.  The Yarm School answered at the end of the period with an unconverted try by Jamie Pender.

The next two periods were played by the younger players on tour. While the second period featured defense and no tries, there were huge fireworks in the third period. Rugby Maryland scored two converted tries that featured brilliant movements between the forwards and backs. 

Sophomore flyhalf Reed Stiles touched down the first score, and sophomore wing Edison Thompson outraced the Yarm defense around the corner to gain the lead for his team.  The Yarm School answered right away with a converted try of their own by Raphael Mhlanga, who used his pace to beat the Maryland cover defense to put the English team to bring the score 26-28 in favor of the home side.

In the fourth and final period, the older players returned to the field. The improvement of the Rugby Maryland Selects was impressive, as they responded to Yarm's pace.  Logan O'Connell was able to find a hole in the Yarm defense and touch down his second try of the day.  With the game on the line, Yarm's 1st XV went back to work and were successful in breaking the defense for their 5th try of the day and the winning score. 

Final: Yarm School 33 Rugby Maryland Selects 28

After the match, there was a reception for both sides and gifts presented between the coaches and players. 

Rugby Maryland Coach John France was pleased with the growth of his players: "It was a cracking good match, and the improvement we saw from you lads was fantastic. I want to thank the Yarm boys for coming here and giving us such an amazing education."

On Sunday the following day, it was time for Yarm to flex their rugby muscles one more time.  In sweltering Maryland summer temperatures, Yarm fielded two sides in the Cowpie Sevens Tournament hosted by West Carroll Youth Rugby on the campus of Mount Saint Mary's University.  Both of Yarms teams rolled through the local teams undefeated and met in the finals.

Yarm School Head Coach Chris Webb was pleased with the start of his teams tour: "It was more than we could have asked. The boys have been first-class on and off the field, and we are pleased that they are having a great time and playing some very good rugby."

The next stop for the Yarm School is New York City.  Then the team will roll to Toronto, Canada.  There they will face Mississauga and Balmy Beach Youth Rugby. After week in Toronto, Yarm will finish their tour in Ottawa where they will square off against Bytown Blues Youth Rugby.