Match Report REME 1st XV 31 - 12 RLC 1st XV
Wednesday 04 March 2015 - 14:00 at Aborfield (Palestine Cup)
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With the REME preparing to bid farewell to Arborfield in the near future, the Palestine Cup and the threat of relegation looming over both teams, the stage was set for a tremendous day of rugby.

The Ladies XV started the day losing 24-17.

The Vets, despite another poor showing gave their best but came up second best with the vast number of REME vets dominating from the kick off.

So as the clock swung around to 2pm, the training was over and it was time for the main event of the day. The game started at a ferocious pace, Lamont welcomed the Army scrum half to the game by smashing him to the ground as he attempted to pace the ball. The RLC team were up for the challenge and they met the REME head on with some strong drives from Baker & Thomas supported as ever by Allen and Brown. But despite the early pressure it was the REME who scored first, quick ball through the hands gave their rapid winger space and he rounded the would be tackle from Hull to score in the corner. The try went unconverted.


To make matters worse for the RLC they then conceded a further 2 quick scores, both from RLC mistakes that gave the REME backs chance to exploit space and a score.


It has been a similar trait in games this season that the RLC concede scores and then come back strong. With the Merit League 1 status in the balance the RLC were going to need a mammoth regain to get back into this match. Parry, at 9, was driving the pack forward and with the experienced Geary back into the second row, having replaced the concussed Todd, the RLC started to build up a head of steam. Fly half Herbert released the backs and Coombes and Vaudru made in roads into the REME defence, with intensity of the hits was immense. Lamont was hitting any REME body that moved, his presence at every break down spurred the RLC on. The REME held out until just before the half time whistle when from an attacking line out Parkin soared high to secure good ball the pack drove forward. The REME lock appeared to lose the plot and was ‘haymaking’ widely in an attempt to prevent the drive going to ground. Despite this foul play the RLC drove on and the referee awarded the try as No 8 Vacakaga crashed over the line. There was a moment as the petulant REME physio launched a water bottle at the RLC coach, more in frustration than anger, but the incident was calmed as composed Alan Tindale stepped in to bring closure to the incident. The RLC lost Thomas to the blood bin, he had been the recipient of the majority of the haymakers and will be sporting a shiner for a few weeks.

Half time RLC 5 REME 19

It had been a brutal first 40 minutes and the second half had all the ingredients to be the same. It was the REME who came out with all guns blazing, their forwards were in the ascendency. With the REME on the front foot their 10 was in control and he was sending runner after runner into the RLC back line. It was from one of these sorties that Coombes received a ‘stinger’ and was forced to leave the pitch to be replaced by Raloka.

The REME pressure grew and a further score looked inevitable, as the defence scrambled to clear the ball. As the ball bounced just short of the RLC 10m line winger Hull anticipated the bounce and pounced on the ball before the REME defender, with a straight run into the corner Hull pinned his ears back and set off with the REME full back racing across to cut him off. With a last ditch tackle he was brought down short of the line and the REME cleared the danger.

The RLC lost centre Vaudru following what was deemed to be a dangerous tackle, probably made worse by the complaints from the REME players and spectators. The penalty was missed and the RLC took possession from the 22m restart. Quick thinking and nimble feet from winger Tamatawale saw him break several REME would be tacklers to score under the posts, the RLC were back in the game, the conversion was missed.

RLC 12 REME 19.

With only one score separating the teams the pressure was now on for the next score, The RLC pressed hard and with drive after drive smashing into the REME defensive line it looked as if the tide had turned and the RLC were going to level the score. With the ruck set on the REME line the ball somehow popped out on the REME side and the pressure was released as the REME flung the ball wide and their winger set off towards the RLC try line. The RLC were slow to reconfigure their backline following the yellow card incident and the REME took advantage running in their 4th try despite the valiant efforts of fullback Langbridge, winger Hull and the ever present Lamont, it was a simple case of running out of numbers.

RLC 12 REME 24

The final score of the game came as the REME surged forward for the killer blow, some tired attempts to stop the REME juggernaut failed and the forwards drove deep into the heart of the RLC half. Some good hands and close support runners saw the REME crash over under the posts. The try was converted making the final score:

RLC 12 REME 31

The day had certainly not been one for RLC results although nobody could question the desire and resolve of those that had pulled on the shirt for the match. Commitment and fight had been given by all. The RLC must now await the results on finals day and then ultimately the decision on the winners if they want to make the step up to the Merit League 1. Whatever happens the RLC will be back next season, this has been a young squad with some outstanding prospects for the future... watch this space.


RLC Squad:

1. Cpl Thomas  9 Regt
2. Cpl Brown   17 P&M Regt
3. Cpl Baker   3 CLSR
4. Lt Todd   29 Regt
5. LCpl Parkin  11 EOD
6 Cpl Allen   13 AASR
7. LCpl Lamont  29 Regt
8. Pte Vacakaga  5 Bn REME
9. Cpl Parry   29 Regt
10. Pte Herbert   12 RA
11. LCpl Hull   3 CLSR
12. Pte Coombes  17 P&M Regt
13 Cpl Vaudru   9 Regt
14. Sgt Tamatawala  17 P&M Regt
15 Capt Langbridge  29 Regt

16. Sgt Tonu   17 P&M Regt
17. Maj Geary   Def Academy
18. Pte Fakih   27 Regt
19. Sgt Raloka   CLR
20. WO1 Mitchell  104 Bde
21. Cpl David   13 AASR
22. Sgt Wakacokecoke  10 QOGLR
23. Sgt James   Tps Hereford