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I'd like to say thanks to Burridge for carrying the metaphorical torch and keeping the Prince Henry's/Leeds blog warm before it returned to its rightful place. Under my watchful eye. As some may know, it was only recently that the England U18s went to France to compete in the FIRA tournament. Myself, Lewis Boyce and Jack Walker were the three Leeds lads who were invited to go, and it couldn't go without mentioning that Josh Walters, who missed the cut by being a mear three days too old. If only he was few days younger, it could have been a fantastic four. However three is how it was to be. For us, this was the first time we have played overseas internationally.
The first game of the tournament was against Portugal where Boyce was on the starting team. He didn't fail to deliver, although he appears thick in stature, he really put the pedal to the metal and scored a lovely 30m try. Sadly for Boyce, it being an away game, there was no fan base to echo his name as he scored. Rest assured me and waka were on the edge of our seats. The final score came down to 82-8.
The next game was against Scotland where there was a massive improvement since we last played them at Darlington. Starting from the Leeds lot was myself and Waka. My personal opinion was that the Scottish team were the hardest team I've played internationally. They put up a good fight, but it was a close game all the way through. We won this game by a slightly closer score of 25-12.
In between the games there was plenty of down time to kick back and relax; we even had the chance to visit a fayre down by the lake, where Waka decided to ride the roller coaster till he was blue in the face. I though I'd also mention that sometime before the tournament Waka managed to break his hand. He tells us it was from getting caught in the door, but it was more likely as a result of a lovers tiff with Boycey. Waka being Waka he decided that pain is not an issue, strapping and a kiss from Boycey was enough to play almost two full games. I'd like to reassure you that he has now had an operation on it and is on a steady road to recovery.
You may already know that we were successful in our campaign and are currently the U18s European Champions, but I might as well give you the full details of the game (it has nothing to do with my 50m try). As we lined up we were focused and frankly a bit scared - partly due to the roar of the French crowd singing la Marseillaise. The whole game was nerve racking and it was an experience I'll never forget. Speaking of experiences, scoring a 50m try was something I didn't foresee and something I most defiantly won't forget..... to remind Burridge on a daily basis. It was an infuriating game with tons of nail biting twist and turns. However at the final whistle, we lay battered and bruised on the field of battle ... victorious.
Although it was a once in the life time experience, nothing beats the comfort of home. With a good 12 hours of sleepless travelling for us and setting off at four in the morning, nothing was more welcoming than a cup of Yorkshire tea and a crumpet. I'd had enough of fine French cuisine for one life-time!
If you don't already know, we sadly have had to pull out of our game on Wednesday against Oakland due to some injury. We are currently wishing Jack Walker and Dan Preston-Routledge a speedy recovery. Also let's hope Rob Rekis has learnt his lesson to not do an off-the-cuff gym session which was the cause of his dicky shoulder. As the ASSE League is coming to a close, we only have one more game left so this is the penultimate blog for the 2012-2013 season at Henry's.