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England Deaf beat Estonia Elite XV

30 August 2009

ENGLAND Deaf opened their season with a 26-21 win over an Estonia Elite XV at Folkestone.

Though the game was a non-cap international it marked an historic moment for the England Deaf side as it was their first international against non-Deaf opposition.

Among those to make their mark was debutant Craig Orrick, a burly centre from Vale of Lune, who troubled Estonia's defence with a series of powerful runs who opened the scoring with a blistering try after just five minutes.

Scrum-half Adam Smallwood of  Sandbach also had an excellent game, supplying plenty of ball for his three-quarters and also scoring a try.

Full-back Charlie James of Peterborough provided superb defence and some good attacking moves with the much improved backline and vice-captain  Dan McAllister  of Luton had a determined game.

"The squad performed very well against the Estonians who are new side having only 2 to 3 years experience in rugby union," said Tony Stoyles, England Deaf's director of rugby.

"To play in such a historic match as this was an honour and were very proud to be involved and thanks goes to John Kidson of Folkestone RFC who organised the match.

"The coaches thought this was  a good platform to build from for our future matches and we are certainly looking forward to playing Wales with the much more improved squad as we have at the moment."

England �s other scorers were two tries from flanker Peter Small (Old Whitgiftian) and one from were winger Adam Faulkner of Newport. Captain Mark Lewis (Brighton) landed two conversions and centre Guy Lavery (Tunbridge Wells) one.