GOOD WEEK FOR WALES
Welsh Guards 11 pts 39 Engineer Regiment 3
Yes, in fact and excellent week for the Welsh. England obliterated in Cardiff and the Welsh Guards winning the Army Premiership Cup 11pts—3. It might not have been that way. 39 Engineer Regiment had ample opportunity to grab the high ground in a low scoring match but the Guards stood their ground to a man and kicked the points on offer.
Pundits, and there were many around, expected the VEOLIA Final to be a fiery contest between the Guards pack and the Sappers backs—but this was Cup rugby. Led into contact by tight head prop Kilbey the Sappers started by shunting the Welsh pack for a day trip around Aldershot.
With huge territorial advantage fly half Best hit the post with his first penalty before giving the men from Aberdeen a 3 point advantage.
With oodles of ball the Sapper backs, fielding three Army players, failed to make progress.
The less than vaunted Guards threequarters mowed down successive waves of attacks from Seru, Nacamavuto and Bakoso.
To be fair to them by the time the Engineers half backs had shifted the ball, the Valley hordes were closing to contact. Few tackles were missed.Frustration ?. Maybe the Sappers fancied a bit of Sevens but in their own ‘22’ they over-elaborated once too often. A far from sensible flick pass, around both ears via a nostril, to no one in particular, invited centre Mala Buretini to scoop and scram for an opportunist try.
No conversion, but on the board and a precious lead 5pts—3.
Gradually, at a time when they might have been out of sight, the Guards pack started to thunder.
Skipper Steve George led his people into the storm whilst the streamlined Mattie Dwyer was always on hand with body and vocals.
Blaine Groves kicked two penalties much to the delight of a large Welsh Guards contingent that included, fresh from the Millenium Stadium, the Wales skipper Ryan Jones. A breathless Steve George, showing all the signs of battle, said “That was a hard game. We came off Afghanistan leave to a man for the first match—and the team gelled. We stuck to a limited game plan of not surrendering points and kicking our goals. It worked against the Royal Welsh in the Semis and it worked again today. The boys were all heart”.
Fly half Groves as awarded VEOLIA Man of the Match which was presented by Ryan Jones.