RLC V RA - Abingdon RLC 20 - 25 RA
Wednesday 21 January 2015 - 13:00 at Abingdon
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Having narrowly lost to the RSigs in Decemeber, today was set up for the biggest test of the season for the RLC, with the uncertainty of relegation hanging over their heads the RLC needed to front up and take on the RA at every facet of play.

The scene was set following games at all levels; Saxons, Veterans and Ladies added to this festival of rugby was the  first showing of the new RLC stash!

The first few minutes were spent with both teams sizing each other up, Parry, at 9, sniped up the blindside and found the supporting Vakacegu who drove at the RA defence, they held strong and rebuffed this attack. The RA took the lead in the 6 minute when from a strong drive they moved the ball to the wing where the winger bundled himself over in the corner, the try was unconverted.

RA 5 - RLC 0

Almost immediately the RLC came back into the game as the RA failed to clear the ball in the tackle. With the penalty in front of the posts, Parry took the opportunity to put points on the board.

RA 5 - RLC 3

From the restart Pearce and Langbridge hit the RA lock hard causing him to spill the ball, the forwards drove over the ball and again the backs were released, quick hands moved the ball to Tamatawalu on the wing and despite his nibble feet the cover was thee to bundle him into touch. The RA pack demonstrated their power with a clean catch at the ensuing line out, their bound tight and drove the RLC back 30m before good work from Allen and Lamont managed to halt the attack. The RA pack then showed their handling skills with some deft hands to move the ball across the back line and to once again find space for the winger to stroll over in the corner. Once again the try went unconverted.

RA 10 - RLC 3

Not the start the RLC had planned and despite a strong run by Hendy with close support from Mayes, the RLC found themselves back under their posts as the RA centre read the long pass from fly Vaudreu, intercepted and raced the full length of the pitch, Langbridge raced back and caught the centre just short of the try line, he tackled, got to his feet and went to rip the ball. Although it was clear to everyone the centre was refusing to release, the ref allowed played to carry on and the RA drove Langbridge off the ball and dropped over the line to score. A very dubious try. Clearly the RA was lacking a place kicker, as once again the conversion sailed high and wide.

RA 15 - RLC 3

This try served as the kick up the backside that the RLC needed, once again the RA lock was knocked over by Lamont and Vakacegu, the supporting pack picked and drove guard at the RA defence. The RLC spectators rose in voice and centre Niubasaga bulldozed his way across his opposite number providing the platform for Parry to snipe at the heart of the RA defence. As he released his pass he was hit very late by the RA centre, a cheap shot that would ultimately cause Parry to leave the park. With the scrum half pole axed at the edge of the 22 the RLC drove on and on, several attempts to cross the RA white wash were halted until Mayes found the space to the edge of the ruck and drove low and hard to ground the ball - his first try for the RLC and no doubt after a few beers his drive started from the edge of the 22!!

RA 15 - RLC 8
With the momentum now having clearly shifted the RLC had the upped the anti and now believed that they could win, it was them that had the upper hand and it was the RLC that looked the better side. Wave after wave of attack battered the RA defence, the belief was apparent and as the hard came to a close the RLC moved the ball swiftly through the hands, a deft pace from brown to Lamont who ran free, committed his would tackler and popped Tams into space, his turn of speed left the winger for dead and he drove the fullback over the try line to touch down in the corner. The try went unconverted and the teams turned around at half time with the RLC now firmly back in the game.

Half time: RA 15 - RLC 13

The half time talk was controlled, ensuring the RLC went back into the second half with the same attitude, remain in charge and boss the RA out of the game, believe in the fact that the RLC could win.

The RLC did as was asked, from the off they were on the front foot, driving hard, second row Mitchell and centre Coombes were prominent in taking the attack to the RA. Putty had moved to cover scrum half and he was bossing the pack, getting them on the front foot and causing mayhem with his sniping runs from the base of the pack. At every opportunity the RLC players wee getting into the RA faces. But despite the pressure it was the RA who found a little space as they tried to release the RLC stranglehold, a miss kicked chip ahead was fortunate to bounce up into the arms of the winger who stretched his legs to score despite the desperate attempts of new fullback, Hull.

RA 20 - RLC 13

Despite the set aback the RLC came back hard, the pack drove on and once again the RA were penalised for failing to roll away - finally the ref produced the yellow card, it had been along time coming. The RLC capitalised straight away, replacement fly half Mitchell fired his pass to Vaudreu who sold the most tremendous dummy, stepped inside the floundering players and then popped the ball to the supporting Hull who bundled the RA full back over the line to ground the ball. Mitchell converted and the teams were level.

RA 20 - RLC 20

The last 10 minutes were going to be tense.

The RLC pushed for a score but the RA held strong and managed on several occasions to clear their line. Langbridge chased hard to a delicate chip to the corner, it appeared that once again the player was refusing to release and as the whistle blew the RLC expected the penalty, but the ref had seen it differently and he gave the RA the kick as he felt the RLC played the ball on the floor. Skipper Allen had to leave the field following an incident were he the RA winger dived at his legs, no arms in the tackle and as he fell he dislocated his shoulder, not what the RLC needed losing such a pivotal player at this crucial time.

The final score of the game as the RA turned their arm in the scrum and stole the ball against the head, their No8 picked and drove at the RLC defence, despite being under pressure the RLC held firm but as the clock counted down the RA found a slight chink in the RLC defence and once through they exploited this and drove over to score the winning try of the game.

RA 25 - RLC 20

There was time for the re-start and the RLC went for the score but as they pushed hard it was a knock on that allowed the RA to clear their lines and the ref finished the game with a long shrill blast. Devastating for the RLC, they had battled like warriors, every man had put their body on the line, but once again the RLC lost by one late score - this has been the tale of the season so far.

The future in the top flight of rugby is still in the balance but the RLC must now go to Aborfield in March and take on the REME, full details of the game will be released in the near future.

Despite the result this was an epic game and it closed out a great 3 days of RLC rugby, it is hoped that the numbers for all teams continue to grow and importantly that the 1st XV can bounce back and close out the season in style.



SER

RANK

NAME

UNIT

REMARKS

01

2LT

MAYES

17 REGT RLC

 

02

CPL

BROWN

17 REGT RLC

 

03

WO1

HENDY

74 SP BTY RA

 

04

LCPL

PEARCE

13 AASR RLC

 

05

PTE

MITCHELL

17 REGT RLC

 

06

CPL

ALLEN

13 AASR RLC

 

07

PTE

LAMONT

29 REGT RLC

 

08

PTE

VAKACEGU

5 BN REME

 

09

CPL

PARRY

29 REGT RLC

 

10

CPL

VUADREU

9 REGT RLC

 

11

CAPT

LANGBRIDGE

29 REGT RLC

 

12

CPL

SERU

11 EOD

 

13

PTE

COOMBS

17 REGT RLC

 

14

SGT

TAMATAWALU

17 REGT RLC

 

15

LCPL

PUTTY

3 REGT RLC

9

16

CAPT

MITCHELL

3 REGT RLC

10

17

CPL

THOMAS

9 REGT RLC

2

18

LCPL

HULL

3 REGT RLC

15

19

PTE

KOTOBALAVU

13 AASR RLC

3

20

LT

NICHOLLS

17 REGT RLC

 

21

LCPL

SAMUEL

27 REGT RLC

 

22

PTE

FAKIH

27 REGT RLC

6

23

PTE

HICKEN

17 REGT RLC

5

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