Following on from their first training session last weekend, the Community Lions Regional Under 16s side, made up of players not selected for the full Lions U16 squad, were in action against French Regional opposition, Ligue Sud Paca.
The visitors made a superb start to the game and led 12-0 after seven minutes.
They scored their first try just three minutes in when Paul Meryl Chevalier-Bonnardel ducked out of dummy half and slipped a clever offload to fullback Enzo Griffier who ran the remaining forty metres. He added the first of four goals and was on target again after good play from Nicholas Rahou-Martin paved the way for Camille Audap to finish.
It was then the turn of the Lions Regional side to ask some questions as Reece Rowcroft and Leo Jackson combined well in the middle and Ellis Mould impressed throughout with a number of strong carries and tough tackling in the pack.
Ligue Sud Paca scored their third try when halfback Maxime Roustang evaded an attempted tackle and ran through the middle to the posts for Griffier to goal.
The remainder of the first half belonged to the Lions but good defence kept them at bay until a couple of minutes out from half-time when Sam Waterland ghosted forward from fullback, drifted across field and cleverly chipped the ball up for Harley Nelson to collect and stroll over. He converted to make it 6-18 at half-time.
For much of the first twenty minutes of the new half, Lions Regional were on top, buoyed by some excellent work from the likes of Mould, Josh Spence, Josh Barnard and Adam Robinson. Robinson in particular was outstanding linking with wing partner Lewis Topping who was never far away from the action.
By the time Topping actually scored 19 minutes into the half, he could on another day have claimed a hat-trick, having been tackled in touch, held up over the line and hauled down short before brilliantly finishing off from a scrum on half way. Nelson converted to make it 12-18.
This came in the absence of Rostang, who was sinbinned for kicking the ball at the referee in an act of petulance.
Upon his return and some strong carries from substitute Yanis Chouchane, Ligue Sud Paca finally got on the front foot and were able to shake off their dogged hosts.
Rostang was the man of the moment as he accelerated through the line to go under the posts with Griffier completing his four goal haul and a 12-24 victory.
The teams meet again this coming Saturday (2nd July) at Orrell St James with an 11am kick-off.