As the Autumn leaves fall from the trees onto the rugby pitches on Queens Avenue, the Army Rugby Union Premiership competition is now in full swing. The Top Twelve rugby union teams in the Army are battling it out in two leagues of six and the top four from each league will go through to the knockout stages in the new year.
Last years winners the 1 Bn The Welsh Guards will find the going tough as past winners 17 Port and Maritime RLC and 2Bn The Royal Welsh; and strong contenders 2 Bn The Rifles and 1 Bn The Yorkshire Regt are going to push them all the way when we get to the knock out stages.
As we get into the thick of the action every team is putting in some impressive performances; presently The Yorks and 2 Rifles are turning heads. 2 Bn The Royal Welsh having just returned from a major training exercise in Canada are looking to press the ‘go’ button, however they didn’t tell 2 Rifles in Belfast who narrowly beat them 18 – 16 in their first league game. Their second fixture against last years winners 1 Bn the Welsh Guards on Wed 30 Oct 13 at the Tidworth Oval should be a cracker, and give the winners the bragging rights going into the knock out stages.
At the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, 1 Bn the Yorks came to show the young Officer Cadets ‘how you do it’ however a talented group of ‘young Sandhurst reds’ looked to be heading for an upset until the Yorks rallied to take a 20 – 13 lead with 3 minutes to go, the Officer Cadets however weren’t done, quick hands moved the ball skillfully along the back line and after a series of penalties close to the line they crossed the line to take it to 20 – 18 leaving the conversion to draw the scores level, the strong wind forces the ball wide and the Yorks hung on to another hard fought victory. The Yorks welcome the 2012 winners 17 Port & Maritime Regt RLC to Warminster on Wed 13 Nov 13.
The Royal Artillery unit teams are showing well, 7 (Para) Royal Horse Artillery who have a strong history in the Army Cup are performing well, and 12 Regt RA have given intent that they are not just there to make up the numbers.
Such is the success of the Premiership, the stepping stone league ‘the Championship’ leagues that boasted 14 teams in the previous season have been flooded and this year an incredible 52 teams have begun their intent to win the Championship and get promoted to the Premiership league. Watch this space to see what happens in the next few weeks.