Results may have predominantly gone against them, but Newmarket Under-15s still learned some invaluable lessons from their trip to The Netherlands over the Easter weekend.
The youngsters took part in the Hilversum International Rugby Festival — a competition that contained teams from Under-7 all the way up to Under-19.
And although they only triumphed in one of their four fixtures, it was a great experience for the entire squad.
“The results were a little disappointing but there was lots to take away from the trip,” said head coach Bruce Skingley.
“Had we been a little bit fresher we would have been fine — the lads are not used to playing so many games in such a short space of time.
“We played some great rugby at times and competed physically with some much bigger teams.
“We go to the Colchester Festival next weekend and none of the sides we face will be that physical, so that gives us a confidence boost.
“It was a great experience, one we can use going forward.”
After a playing a couple of friendly matches on Saturday, Newmarket started the tournament in style on Sunday as they ran in nine tries during victory over Utrecht.
An Amsterdam side contained 17-year-olds — permitted in the rules — were up next and got the better of Newmarket 12-0 with two early tries.
Skingley’s team held their own, though, and drew the second half 0-0.
As fatigue started to set in, further losses were suffered to Midsomer Norton and Marple & Glossop, though during those games Newmarket still produced some memorable moments, including a dummy switch pass that resulted in a try.
Skingley added: “We would also like to thank our sponsors — without their help the trip would not have been possible.”
Newmarket Tour awards: Best Player — Miles Lancaster, Outstanding Team Contribution — Gabe Jones, Best Tackler — Paul Carroll.