ARMY MASTERS 36 PTS — HM PRISON SERVICE 12
Lee Davies named Head Master
On a raw night the Army Masters XV first parried and then swamped the Prison Service 36 pts—12 in an entertaining match at Aldershot. A number of fresh faces, with little opportunity for pre-match training in 2013, contributed to a cohesive performance that ran the legs out of the younger opposition.
The forwards were rock solid in scrum and touchline restarts and, once in control, made ground. Driving mauls gobbled up the grass and the’ eight’ seldom allowed turnover ball.
Lock Andy Davie (RLC) and prop Mark Eastley (RE) ‘stood tall’—metaphorically speaking– at the breakdown, hooker Ben Birkbeck (RLC) burrowed into the thickest contacts. The ball usually found its way to a red shirt.
Evergreen back row forward Dave Goddard (RE), League style, made himself available to carry against tired bodies. Frequent rampages led to strong attacking positions deep in Prison territory with options galore.
Such dynamics, in the forward contact areas, created a stream of good ball and the backs were of a mind to attack. Epeli Qolikibua (Royal Scots), showing a little more bodily presence than during his days as a World class 7s exponent, surged down the right often finishing off great work by centre Lee Davies who was named match Head Master. Mark Kane RAPTC created space and scored whilst Brad Sutherland (Coldm Gds) was equally inventive on the left and scored a great try from 40m.
Coach Tiny Baker was guarded when he suggested “ a somewhat disjointed first half gave way to a purposeful performance across the park. It was a sweet form of revenge for a gruelling defeat suffered in 2012. The forwards togetherness got better with time and the backs willingness to trust the power and speed on the flanks was heartening”.