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Army Masters v Pilgrims RFC

The Road to Turin and the World Masters Games
Wednesday 12 June 2013

Pilgrims 26 – Army Masters 24

While most Rugby fans eyes are now focused down-under and all matters British & Irish Lions for the Army Masters Head Coach Tiny Baker they are firmly fixed on selection of the Army Masters Squad for the trip to Italy and the World Masters Games in August. The Pilgrims RFC in Hereford offered up a chance for a fixture out of season as part of the Squads shake-down before they depart on 30 July. The sunny warm weather left 2 minutes before kick-off and the game kicked off under grey skies and rain, not that it affected the Pilgrims in anyway as they waltz through some weak tackling to score the first try of the game with barely 2 minutes on the clock for a 7-0 lead. Skipper for the game Camie Hastie must have had a few stern words behind the posts and they certainly did the trick as the Masters pack get stuck into the game.

There are a lot of new faces in the Masters Team no more so than in the pack but once the lines of communications are sorted the pack start to get some phases going with the first up defence now putting pressure on the Pilgrims and a sloppy pass allows winger Billy Moore an easy inception try to make the score 7-5. More good work from the forwards allows flanker Scotty Kelly to crash over with Jimmy Newton adding the extras for a 7-12 lead. A quick bit of thinking by skipper Camie Hastie from a penalty allows him to feed a pass to left wing Stu James to score in the corner 5-17. The Masters tails are up now and Glynn Jones playing at fly half steps inside the defence to score under the posts for 5-24. Just before half-time a cheap penalty in the Masters 22 allows the Pilgrims to have a platform and they run the ball in for a score just before the interval.

The replacement bench is small for the Masters and the only change is Pete Frances replacing Scott Kelly in the back row. Second half both sides try to move the ball but the wet conditions test both sides handling skills. The Pilgrims have a large bench and introduce some fresh legs and with the Masters dominating the forward exchanges the Pilgrims try to move the ball wide to use their younger quicker backs to good use. Despite some great defensive work from Dave Goddard and rest of the back row along with Mark Kane and Darrell Cooper in the centre, they are unable to stop the Pilgrims running in another try to make the score 19-24. The Masters loose Fly Half Jones to injury and Team Manager Dave Boocock is on as an emergency replacement. Its possession rugby now as the tiring Masters try to hang on for the win, but it’s not to be and from a quickly taken penalty the Pilgrims score a try through their quick backs in the last minute of the game for a final score of 26-24.

Head Coach Tiny Baker commented after the game:

“With a good proportion of this year’s Inter Service squad unavailable for the WMG 13 this match was needed to try out for potential new players in preparation for the games and to get an early look at squad members for next season. After an early try against us, the Masters started to put together phases, supporting each other quite well and as usual our defence around the rucks and mauls was solid, the chasing of the kicks into their half gave us a few turnover balls which kept the pressure on the Pilgrims. As expected the younger side had some pace on the wings but it wasn’t until the latter stages of the game that they began to use them. They chose to go toe to toe up front which many sides have found is not that easy against the experienced older forwards. A good start for the squad in their build up to Turin and we have 2 more training opportunities before we leave to fine tune our game, but we will be ready to defend our title.”

Man of the Match: Dave Goddard

Report by WO 2 Jim Evans.

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