On a slightly overcast cold but dry day the Army Masters lined up against a youthful Kew Occasional side at the Richmond Athletic Ground. Early on and some infringements by the Masters means there is a lack of fluency in their play.
Pte Bunny Burenivalu lights up this early phase of the game with some sharp strong breaks craving open the Kew defence and feeding WO2 Brad Sutherland to go over under the posts for the first score of the game. Masters are trying to get some structure to their game now with Kew mainly living on scraps. The kicking game is a work in progress and the Kew backs run back at the Masters to get themselves on the score sheet.
The Masters hit back with a good period of play and a nice chip over the top by fly-half Capt Billy Bragg allows SSgt Zoe Ball to collect and score under the posts. A further score by Maj Ollie Orminston means the Masters lead 19-5 and are somewhat in the driving seat.
There is then a period either side of half time that the Masters go missing, and Kew hit back using strong breaks from a back line building in confidence to draw level just before the half time break. The second half does not improve things and three quick tries from a Kew side with their tails in the air means there are a few puzzled looks on the faces on the Masters side who find themselves 19-45 down.
Time to go back to basics with pack driving and getting moving forward with the ever young Capt Dave Boocock bossing the pack from the scum half position. This allows space out wide and who better to exploit this space then Cpl Pepsi Wacokecoke who not only shows good speed but also strength to score and lift the gloom of those watching from the side line, WO1 Andy Franklin adds the extras.
Good work continues from the forwards which means the Masters are on the front foot and Boocock scores a good try to bring the final score to 31 – 45. Nice to finish on a high but it was a real Jekyll and Hyde performance from the Army Masters.
Coaches Comments by Head Coach WO2 Taff Reed
“A game that was dominated by the Army Masters in every area apart from the score board. We were in control at the set piece, the contact area and in attack, even when our defensive line was broken we scrambled well in numbers to halt attacks, however poor discipline cost us dearly with Kew running in 3 tries during a 10 minute Sin Bin. Vic Reeve at hooker had a great game and fullback Brad Sutherland cuts sways into the Kew defense, but again the plaudits must go to Ollie Ormiston who carried and disrupted Kew for a full 80 mins. I scratch my head as to how this one got away from us. Perhaps if the players had stuck to a well rehearsed game plan things might have been very different come result time!”
Match report WO2 Jim Evans