Friday 10 April 2015 Richmond Athletic ground
On a dry pleasant evening the Army Masters lined up for their last fixture of the regular season before the start of their defence of the Inter Services Crown against a experienced Richmond Veterans team, who have in their ranks players who have played at a high level. The final score of 20-18 to Richmond reflected the tight nature of the game, with the majority of the possession and territory of the game being dominated by the Army Masters. A bright start by the Masters gave WO2 Brad Sutherland playing at full back a chance to open the scoring with an early penalty. Despite knocking on the door for further scores with the ever young Capt Dave Boocock playing at scrum half doing little sniping runs, it was the Richmond Heavies who got the first try of the match, this was followed in quick succession by a couple of more tries and the Masters after about 30 minutes of play find themselves 17-3 points down. There was a risk at this point that the game could have slipped away from the Masters, but socks were pulled up and the pack got stuck into their opposite numbers, both in the set play and in the loose, and this allowed LCpl Howard Maharaj a chance to crash over under the post for a try just before half time with a score now of 10-17. Coaching staff ring the changes with SSgt Rob Smart replacing Capt Billy Bragg at fly-half one of the changes.
The Masters now have the upper hand for long periods of the second half with the Richmond Heavies doing all they could to slow the game down both legally and non-legally this led to a couple of their players spending time in the bin and when SSgt Martin Reeve went over for a good try followed by a penalty a couple of minutes later by Rob Smart, it looked like the Masters were ready to score and take the win. However the Richmond Heavies hung on in with some good defence and strong tackling to deny the Army Masters the win.
Following the match Masters Head Coach WO2 Mark Reed commented:
Although we lost, I am happy with the performance that the guys put in at the coal face! Tom Tom Turagabeki looked good alongside Andy Evans in the middle of the park and Ollie Ormiston had another storming game in the 2nd row. In fact no one let themselves down and they have given me a positive headache, for announcing the team to meet the RAF on the 30th of April. But for me Skipper Neil Griffiths can take a bow for his exploits throughout the game, he led from the front and had his best game in an Army Red Jersey for a long time. Bring on the RAF and Navy, we are ready.
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