After twenty minutes of this match the Army U23s scored their first try to go 11-3 ahead and were ahead on both tries scored and points difference in their bid to retain their U23 trophy. For the next fifty minutes the Army’s own increasing error count and the RAF’s dogged play ensured this game became very tense and probably contributed to the Army’s Number 8 being red carded by Navy Referee Duncan McClement. He saw red for illegal use of the foot after the RAF had collapsed a maul. Indeed at 11-9 and just over ten minutes to go the trophy was in Navy hands and the RAf were pressing.
However a long clearance kick from the Army and then a poor decision from the otherwise impressive Brad Cook of the RAF allowed Matt Bowman to establish filed position for the Army. A five metre line and a well worked move saw the hooker go over for their second try soon followed by their third as the RAF tried to force a last minute score. Both tries converted and a final score of 25 – 9 assured the Army of a return to Aldershot with the trophy. They made hard work of it but if the rest of this match had seen both teams play like they did in the last ten minutes then it would have been an excellent game. Sadly for those watching there were too many unforced errors. The final whistle was greeted by celebration from the Army, muted to an extent by Kyle Routley left on the ground with a broken ankle. Hopefully he will have a full and swift recovery.
Spitfires in Dubai
It wasn’t the best of weeks for the RAF with their Spitfire sevens team losing out at the quarter final stage of the Dubai Sevens. By quirk of the draw the Spitfires met Moosa Wild Geese, a team that had beaten them 31 – 12 in the pool stage. A much improved Spitfire performance see them knocked out through a missed conversion. Final score 14-12 to the Wild Geese.