The RLC Vets took on the Shags at Shrivenham on a glorious Wednesday evening under floodlights. Following a number of last minute drop outs the Vets team was looking a little on the light side. Thankfully the resourceful Jase Lowe and Richie Crane managed to bring along a few younger members to ensure the Vets could field a team. The game was played in 4 quarters allowing the shags to run out both their Vets team and then 1st XV in preparation for next weeks Army Championship Semi - Final.
There was real buzz in the air and with a sizeable crowd (who would not be disappointed) the game got under way with the ‘Shags’ kicking off. The ‘Shags’ settled quickly and begun to assert their control pinning the RLC deep inside their half, but failed to convert their supremacy in to points. After 10 minutes the RLC began to grow in confidence and were dominating the match; taking an early lead through Tom Winskill in well worked try, but Taff Roberts failed to convert; 0 – 5 to the RLC. This sparked the ‘Shags’ in to action and eventually they turned pressure in to points but again failed to convert; 5 – 5.
The RLC forwards were out bossing their opposite numbers with strong performances from Eddie Edwards, Ratty, Jase Lowe, Fahrad, Raks and the industrious Stu Evans. This gave Taff Richards the perfect platform to launch our backs who were well marshalled by the ever green Richie Crane; ably supported by Tom Winskill, Langers and Monty. As the first quarter drew to a close the impressive Tom Winskill skipped through some weak tackling from the ‘Shags’ defence to cross the line and Taff Richards converting to give the RLC a well deserved 5 – 12 lead.
With 5 mins remaining of the second quarter the’ Shags’ made a few substitutions and cranked up the pressure resulting in a couple of quick tries taking the lead 17 – 12. Overall the first 2 quarters were very evenly balanced with strong performances from both teams.The third and forth quarters saw the ‘Shags’ ringing the changes and bringing on much younger and fitter players – effectively their cup team. This swung the balance of play in their favour producing some well worked tries allowing the ‘Shags’ to stretch their lead. The Vets dug deep and continued to defend well and the backs provided width allowing for an open and expansive attacking game of rugby, scoring some quality tries of their own before the final whistle.
All and all a great night of entertaining rugby, not the result the Vets wanted but it was pleasing to watch from a spectators point of view; final score 52 – 24 to the ‘Shags’.
Thanks to all those Vets that made the effort to travel and play, a special thanks to those younger Vets who made the game possible. A big thank you to our Director of Rugby (Maj Al Tindale) for barking orders from the side, keeping the team focussed and as usual causing a little mischief with the opposition just to mix things up.
The Vets are scheduled to play the REME 4 Mar at Aborfield – this is the last game of season and an opportunity to book your seat on the plane to Milano (only 16 places). However, we still require more players and remember March is “bring a friend to rugby” – make the effort and get in touch with Craig Johnstone and commit to being part of the Vets set up.
A big thank you to Andy Geary and a couple of the ‘Shags’ who helped bolster the Vets.
Man of the Match:
Taff Roberts – For a gritty performance in attack and in defence especially tackling their big runners.
1. Woody Woodward
2. Eddie Edwards
3. Ratty Ratukaleu
4. Jase Lowe (Capt)
5. Mat Wilson
6. Stu Evans
7. Farard Darver
8. Raks Rakabu
9. Taff Roberts (Man of the Match)
10. Richie Crane
11. Colin Mason
12. Mat Lamont
13. Tom Winskill
14. Dave Clark
15. Rich Langbridge
16. Craig Johnstone (player/Manager)
17. Axel Foley
18. Si Forsyth
19. Ug May