The squad for BA(G) Rugby’s opening fixture of the season against Belgium U23s was chosen at a trial held in late September, this was followed by a very intense short training camp at Javelin Barracks, Elmpt the day before the game.
The team hoped to play a fast open style of rugby, however an extremely heavy pitch meant the team had to adapt to a much tighter game plan. An opening period of dominance saw BA(G) go ahead with an early penalty from LCpl Jack Kermond (5 Rifles) followed shortly after by a superb try created by LCpl Scorby Ratubalavu (1PWRR) who found a perfect running angle to cut through the otherwise solid Belgian defence. As he was caught by the scrambling defence he managed to find an offload out of the tackle which found LCpl Nasa Vatu (5 Rifles) who scored under the posts. At this point the Belgian team very much played themselves back into the game, with solid set piece and good work in the tight from their forwards. They were duly rewarded with a try in the 47th minute of the first half which made the half time score 10 – 5 in favour of the visitors.
Any hopes of the game opening up in the second half were thwarted by a number of handling errors from both sides in increasingly difficult conditions and the referees’ continual penalisation of infringements at the breakdown which meant neither side could find any continuity or territory. The game culminated in 2 yellow cards for BA(G) with just under 15 minutes on the clock, however a solid effort meant they did not concede any points and won the game 10 – 5.
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Reflecting on the game, BA(G) Head Coach, SSGT Chris Williams RAPTC
‘The team produced a fantastic performance in a very abrasive and direct game. When the team’s backs were against the wall down to 13 men, after two very harsh yellow cards the commitment and desire not to concede a point was immense. Of particular note were the performances of Lt Ryan McBride QDG, Rfn Joe Nalewabau 5 Rifles, LCpl Scorby Ratubalavu 1 PWRR and Capt Dan Reed QDG. There were also impressive debut performances from Pte Dave Banfield 1 PWRR, Tpr Danny Webb QRH and seasoned veteran Cpl Ian Oates 200 Sigs.’
He concluded ‘All in all a great performance and another positive step forward towards the challenge against Army A on January 13th in Aldershot.’
Director Of Rugby, Captain Paul Jones:
“ It was fantastic to see the commitment from all the players, it was a great first game to kick off the season and has rightly set us up for January. I would like to thank the players CoC for releasing them. There will be a training session early December in preparation for the Army A game on the 13th January 14, both calling notices will follow shortly”