London Scottish has been running Touch Rugby sessions since 2013 through a programme launched by England Rugby to develop grass root rugby within the communities.
At London Scottish the project is overseen by the Club Development Manager Corne du Rand and the Community Development Manager Ross Peacock.
Two years in the making, the Red Lions Touch Rugby Club was finally established recently with a core of around 30 players now turning up week in week out on a Monday evening to train and play.
We have a team including male and female players from 13-50 years old.
We played, despite tough weather conditions, over the winter months and kept the team spirit alive to get ready for the summer season with plans to develop a Touch Rugby League with neighbouring clubs.
As an experiment we played two friendly against Grasshoppers RFC Touch before Christmas.
Both fixtures, away and at home were a success, and an inspiration to get other clubs involved.
As an extra fixture on our weekly schedule we were able to organise a friendly match last Thursday evening, April 23rd, against Old Emanuel RFC Touch.
Thanks to Michel D'Urso at Old Emanuel we agreed to play at Old Deer Park with our opponents providing high quality touch rugby referees.
After warming up we organised the teams to play in two pitches, one for faster players and one for slower (so to speak).
Red Lions Team A: Hari, Tim, James, Richard, Tom, Michael
Red Lions Team B: Danny, Kate, Ellen, Christian, James, Renato
We struggled initially to play by the rules, getting hammered by penalties and tries, constantly reminded by the referees to abide to the rules of touch rugby.
However we recovered quickly and we engaged our defences on both Teams, bringing structure to our attack, gradually gaining ground and finally delivering a bombardment of tries with Team A putting extreme pressure on a very disciplined and stubborn side.
Old Emanuel reacted very fast, using tactical skills and clever strategies.
We hardly had time for a water break – everyone on both pitches eager to get going to test their stamina to the limit!
Again Old Emanuel started a methodical and ruthless attack, leaving the Red Lions to defend.
With composure and speed on attack we were able to bring the game to a standstill with a 'cat and mouse' chase holding Old Emanuel and managing to deteriorate their efforts.
In the end it was a win for Old Emanuel on both pitches.
The encounter was a lesson for the Red Lions, both in terms of discipline and team effort.
We learnt a lot from Old Emanuel and we are keen to engage with our friends again very soon.
For more information on the Red Lions, contact LSFC Touch Rugby Ambassador Renato Congias on email@example.com