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Army – Time to Reflect

Worcester Cavaliers 64pts—Army 0

A good crowd watched the Army take a bit of a clobbering at Sixways Worcester on 24th February. The Cavaliers fielded a very strong squad whereas for various reasons the Army were depleted on the night. Head Coach Maj Andy Sanger [RE] was very philosophical about the 64pts-0 defeat labelling it a ‘one-off’. Down, the Army were certainly never ‘out’.

The Army competed well up-front in the first half. The pack was solid in the set pieces with better than parity in both scrums and lines-out. The differences emerged in the way Worcester were able to use their ball and, as professional rugby players, run cohesively until gaps appeared. Frequently they had something to spare on the outside which they used to great effect.


The front row took a high percentage of the brunt as the Cavaliers attempted, early on, to achieve some form of platform. Chris Budgen [R WELSH], Mattie Dwyer [WG] and Ricky Reeves [RE] were a formidable bastion with the 43 year olds Budgen still ‘pulling up trees’.

Dave Bates [R SIGNALS], back to his old form, and Al Whittaker [RE] both leapt like salmon to secure own ball whilst Ifereimi Boladau [RA] at No8 controlled the rear. ‘Bola’ was in fine throttle and frequently split the defence with his trade mark surges.

Vitally in the first half the ball carriers, such as blind side Rob Lennox[SCOTS] were more than a match for the Cavaliers and were seldom short of support.


Scrum half Morgan Evans[R WELSH] has had a long apprenticeship in the U23 and now looks the part. With a trifle more ball on the front foot we might have been treated to some Welsh fireworks. Chris Leathem [R IRISH] at No15 is growing daily into the slot. He is a decisive player. Even against the run of play his instinct was to attack and he almost made it to the line on many occasions.


At half time the scoreboard indicated a Cavaliers lead 24pts-0. Two tries had come from ‘kick’n rush’—the Cavaliers rushing forward that inch or two quicker than the Army could achieve a controlled withdrawal. The remainder, rightly, gave the home crowd some lovely rugby to applaud. Coach Mark Hewitt { was RM and played Navy] has put together a very good mix of the young and not so young, including six with Premiership experience.

The second half did not go so well. It was a tad torrid that the newcomers to the Red’s shirt were faced with such strong opposition. Sudden death—no time to grow into the challenges that simply pulling on the shirt present. Nevertheless they will to a man remember their day at Sixways and can now build from their experience under the cosh. Bigger, faster, stronger and quicker thinking. Go for it.

The Reds now look forward to the match against the French Army at Aldershot on Wed 16 Mar 16. They will be hard and quick — a big call on performance and temperament.

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