A third trip to the home of the Leicester Tigers lies in wait for Newmarket Rugby Club’s under-10s after reaching the final of the Prima Tiger Bowl.
Scenes of celebration were played out by youngsters from the Scaltback-based side after powering through both the quarter and semi-finals of the competition at the Aviva Premership giants’ Welford Road ground at the end of last month.
As a result of the two victories, the junior Newmarket outfit will now return to home of the nine-time English rugby union champions to play out the final against Tamworth on Saturday, February 23.
“The boys got their first taste of playing at Welford Road in the Prima Tiger Cup at the end of last year, but they got knocked out of that as I think a bit of stage fright got to them,” said head coach Bruce Skingley.
“This time around in the Bowl competition, the boys were better prepared — they were all really up for it. They just hit the ground running as the results show.
“It is an awesome achievement by them to reach the final.”
Routing Lichfield 6-1 in the quarter-finals, the youngsters then found themselves up against it in the semi-finals when conceding early on to the Nottingham Boots Corsairs.
But, showing a determined spirit, Newmarket fought back to claim a 4-2 victory.
“When we went 1-0 down within the first few seconds to Nottingham, I thought here we go, but the boys all picked themselves up and fought back well to grab the win,” said Skingley.
The trip to Welford Road was nearly a wasted journey for George Howard, who scored three tries across both games, after leaving a vital part of his kit behind.
“When we arrived George found he had left his boots at home, but he managed to borrow some firstly of a Wisbech player then a Lichfield one for the semi-final,” said Skingley.
“The response from the other teams in helping out was fantastic and a big thank-you goes out to them both.”
Having had to dig deep to reach the final, Skingley expects another tough encounter in the final against the Staffordshire club.
“Tamworth looked quite handy and from what I saw of them they had quite a quick scrum half and a big centre,” he said. “But we know they will be good otherwise they would not be in the final.
“For our boys though, it will be amazing for them to play under the floodlights for the first time and they are already looking forward to it.”