Briggs Equipment UK Shield 3 Regt 39 - 22 9 Regt
Wednesday 15 April 2015 - 14:00 at Abingdon (Briggs Equipment UK Shield)
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The Briggs Equipment UK Shield is the annual RLC UK inter-unit knockout competition for those units not contesting the Sir Cecil Smith Cup. This year saw Semi-Finals played between 9 Regt and 13 Air Assault and 3 Regt against 7 Regt.

With the temperature up in the mid 20's, the RLC band playing and a sizeable crowd the scene was set for the Briggs 2015 inter-unit Cup Final at Abingdon.  The players were led to the pitch by the RLC Corps drummers, which provided a glorious spectacle and steeled both sides to play their hearts out.  With both teams made up of a mix of Corps, ex Corps and novice players, the game was definitely not one to call.

3 Regt kicked off with Cpl Nakanacagi (NikNak) catching the ball and doing what NikNak does best; run straight and hard; the first few tacklers fell off as he gained ground and charged deep into the 3 Regt half, eventually being brought to the ground by Capt Tom Winskill. 9 Regt had their tails up and looked to push hard from the off. Cpl Darren Price at 9 for 3 Regt, disrupted the 9 Regt scrum and was able to hack the ball clear, good following up by winger managed to bundle the 9 Regt winger into touch. From the ensuing line out Maj Farad Darver  was lifted high and delivered clean ball to Price, his swift pass to fly half Capt Rob Mitchell  had 3 Regt on the front foot, Mitchell delivered a superb pass to Winskill, who's excellent line, cut a massive hole in the rushing defence, leaving centres Sgt Rakabua & Lt Davies and fullback Lcpl McCabe flat footed and static as he ran in unimpeded to touch down for the first score of the game, try converted.

7-0 to 3 Regt.

9 Regt rallied and pressed hard from the restart and almost immediately they found themselves being awarded a penalty as the eager 3 Regt defence rushed up too early in an attempt to closed down the rampant Cpl Taff Thomas & Sgt Gustar, the penalty was stroked over by flyhalf Cpl Kim Vadreu.

7-3 to 3 Regt

The teams were playing different styles of rugby; 9 Regt playing a run straight and keep it tight game, hitting up through the pack with  Pte Sattar & Cpl Matevasi leading the charge. Whilst 3 Regt were looking to spin the ball wide and get their speedsters,  Pte Nicholson & LCpl Hull, running when ever possible. 3 Regt stretched their lead with a well struck penalty following hands in the ruck by the excitable 9 Regt forwards.

10-3 to 3 Regt.

This penalty pushed 9 Regt into changing their game plan and moving the ball wide, they exposed a crack in the 3 Regt defensive line; once over the gain line, they pressed home their advantage and surges from LCpl Stevenson & WO2 Lodwig had them close to the line.  A quick recycled ball saw Sgt Volavola crash over in the corner, the conversion was missed, but it was now game on.

10 – 9 to 3 Regt

Due to the heat it was agreed, prior to the Kick Off, that there would be a water break every 20 minutes, both teams eagerly took the break and the skippers rallied their troops to dig deep and gain an advantage. It was 3 Regt that came out of the blocks quick and from a good driving line out they set the platform for the backs to launch a wave of attacks, eventually the resilient defence folded and LCpl Hull  broke through to touch down, the try went unconverted.

15-8 to 3 Regt.

Despite both teams playing some impressive expansive rugby the score remained the same throughout the rest of the first half.

Half Time: 15-8 to 3 Regt.

9 Regt started the second half with a determined attitude and with some dynamic running, they forced a score before 3 Regt could get to the pace of the second half, the try was scored by the ever impressive Cpl Niknak  but despite a valiant effort for  Cpl Vadreuit went unconverted.

15-13 to 3 Regt.

9 Regt continued to press and were awarded a penalty that, this time, Cpl Vadreu stroked over the posts to give 9 Regt the lead for the first time in the game.

15-16 to 9 Regt.

With the balance of power now firmly in the 9 Regt camp, it was 3 Regt's old heads that had to try and lift the team, especially as 9 Regt stretched their lead with another great try, following some good hands and link play between forwards and backs: the ball was touched down by the fulback LCpl McCabe, his turn off speed and strength getting him across the line despite some desperate last ditch tackling from the 3 defence, the try was converted and 9 Regt now had a healthy lead.

15-22 to 9 Regt.

With the game nicely balanced, 3 Regt now appeared to twist the balance of power; following a clean take in the line out from Darver, the pack closed around him and the power of the old war horses Capts Jase Lowe & Craig Morgan set the platform for the pack to drive 9 Regt back at pace, 10, 20, 30 , 40 meters before referee, Maj Al Tindale, decided that 9 Regt had finally committed the offence of dropping the maul.  Up stepped Mitchell  to stroke over the penalty.

18-22 to 9 Regt.

This drive certainly appeared to have revitalised 3 Regt and possibly drained the resilience from the 9 Regt forwards. 3 Regt set the platform again and began another drive, this time Price took the ball early and released the backs, Winskill took the ball and pinned his ears back to round the defence to score an excellent individual try, having run from inside his own half. Mitchell once again kicked the conversion.

25-22 to 3 Regt.

From the restart 9 Regt were sent deep back into their own half with a ranging kick from Cpl Jamie Coleman; the chase was good and it was the dancing feet of Pter McKenna that allowed Vadreu space to clear his lines. With 3 Regt having pushed hard, their was massive spaces in the 3 Regt half, the crowd cheered as it appeared that the 9 Regt prop  Sgt Gustar, had found a surge of energy and had outstripped his own team to close in on the covering Mitchell, who was scuttling back to collect the ball. As the players came shoulder to shoulder the 3 Regt fly half fell to the ground as the prop collected the bouncing ball to touch down under the posts. Following consultation with the Assistant Referee the try was ruled out following an off the ball incident where the prop had in fact handed off the 3 Regt fly half.

Winskill added his 3rd try as 3 Regt tightened their grip on the game following a great kick and chase that had 9 Regt's defence throwing a speculative pass in an attempt to break out of defence in search of a late score to get them back into the game, again the try was converted by Mitchell.

32-22 to 3 Regt.

With the game coming into the final minute it was sealed as fullback LCpl Hull chipped a bouncing ball over the desperate 9 Regt winger to touch down, the try was converted.

Final score: 3 Regt 39 - 9 Regt 22.

Brigadier Martin Moore CBE, President of RLC RUFC, congratulated both teams on an excellent game and encouraged them both to press on for next season, encouraging other units to follow the example and get involved in unit rugby.

The Vince Claire Memorial Trophy was awarded to 3 Regt No 8 Sgt Legs Lingairi for his performance throughout the game.

It certainly was an excellent advert for unit rugby and it is hoped that all those involved will take the field again for the final RLC outing of the season on 7 May in South Cerney for the Festival of rugby.

Team lists:

9 Regiment
1 LCpl Stevenson    
2 Cpl Thomas 
3 Sgt Gustar
4 WO2 (SSM) Lodwig
5 Pte Sattar
6 Sgt Volavola
7 Cpl Matevasi
8 Cpl Nakanacagi
9 LCpl Suluaqalo
10 Cpl Vadreu
11 Pte McKenna
12 SSgt Rabuka
13 Lt Davies
14 Pte Phillips
15 LCpl McCabe
16 LCpl Nakuta
17 Cpl Ulavitti
18 Cpl Cooper            
19 Pte Storr
20 Cpl Hardinl
21 LCpl Joiner
22 SSgt McDonald


3 Regiment

4 Capt LOWE
15 LCpl HULL
16 LCpl SAVOU (Back 5)
18 Cpl FRANKLIN (Wing)
19 Pte OWENS
20 LCpl EDEN (Front Row)
21 SSgt BECK (Centre/Back Row)