Maccabi GB’s Open Rugby Squad put in a resounding performance to see off Saxons RFC 47-31 on Sunday in their latest warm-up game before the 19th Maccabiah Games.
The side was made up of 16 players who are part of Team GB’s squad for Israel this summer, with five guest substitutes.
The match against the Saxons, a spin-off of the Richmond RFC Development squad, was not short of excitement, with Maccabi GB scoring seven tries and six conversions to Saxons’ five tries and three conversions.
The main pitch at Allianz Park hosted the game and the crowd was not disappointed as Team GB showed why they are contenders for a medal in Israel.
There were notable performances from the more experienced players including Aaron Radley who, despite being the squad’s youngest player in 2009 at 18th Maccabiah Games, showed he is a hungry and aggressive perpetual-motion Flanker, and now ready to take the lead in Israel.
Ben Chamberlain at no. 8 delivered an impressive turn of speed on a number of solo runs and Guy Tyler snatched two tries at Outside Centre. Veteran Aaron Liffchak was also a tower of strength at Prop and showed he still has the legs at full speed over 20 metres to leave the opposition standing.
Skipper Sam Katz, playing at Fly Half, was as reliable as ever, including 100 per cent record on his kicks. However, it was not just the experienced heads who impressed. Saul Gerald in the front row and James Martin in the back three stood out most of all, but everyone who took to the field can be proud of their performance for Team GB, acquitting themselves well.
Jon Tyler, chairman of Maccabi GB and manager of the squad in Israel, said: "It was exciting to see all the players take part with great skill and enthusiasm, proving the squad has even stronger capabilities than four years ago.
"To see the players come together in their first competitive match was extremely rewarding and despite some players having never met each other before, and swapping the players regularly during the match to try different structures, the team held together and supported each other even when at one point we were down to 13 players."
Head Coach Elvis Seveali’i commented: "I am delighted to be involved with Maccabi GB and was impressed by the talent on the pitch today. There are a number of areas to work on, but I am proud and thrilled to help this squad go for gold in Israel later this month."
Squad: (who played against Saxons RFC)