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Army v British Police


The Army mounted sustained attacks to score three good tries inside fifteen minutes against an experienced British Police team at Imber Court.  The men in Blue were certainly not overawed, particularly in the set scrums and the rolling mauls. This is probably the best prepared Army squad in twenty years.  Players were fit and quick of mind and hand and ran in seven well worked tries for a 50 pts—17 victory.

Skipper Mark Lee led his cohorts into contact, a slimmer version of No8 Maku Koroiyadi added pace at No8 whilst fresher Craig Fillier at blind-side had a solid first game in a Red shirt. It was in the backs that the Army, man-on-man, dominated play.  Wings Samesa Rokoduguni and Sam Speight were in imperious form with ‘Roko’ turning his man inside out on a number of occasions.  Speight is an ever improving player, a quick and elusive runner he is pushing himself into the reckoning.

Individually the Police side played their hearts out but when plans A and B, the set scrum and the rolling maul, failed the tank was empty.

It helped the Army cause that the Police decided to hoof precious possession to the Army backs where ‘Roko’, Speight and the ever willing Wessels were prepared to attack. The three crafted a masterful attacking game which ran the Police front five into the deck. It was encouraging to see, in contrast, the Army front five always in support.  Tries for Dave Bates and the evergreen Ben Soper showed the advantage of having heavy fast finishing power to get over the line. The Army game was built on a solid defence—when needed.
At points where the Police entered the Army ‘red zone’ the organization stood tall and in a free flowing game the Reds only conceded a penalty try (?—quiet cough) and a softy at the death.

In the fourth quarter Coach Andy Sanger cleared the subs bench. Alex Whitaker, now an old hand at hooker, was clearly fit and gelled well with new prop Cameron McLaren. A few games at this level and McLaren who has a few grams to shed in the wrong places could be challenging the ‘names’. Army Sevens cap Knoxy Laqekoro, all elbows and knees, made an impact whilst Iggy Putty at scrum half provided glimpses of class.Andy Sanger concluded “I am very happy with where we are in our preparation.  Probably as a result of the Rugby World Cup there is an instinctive feeling about the play and everyone now know the true meaning of fitness.  It showed tonight against a team that, on paper, was not going to go down by 50 points”

Next game is against Worcester Warriors (Away) on 6 March.

They will set the bar and we must clear it before addressing the little problem of the Mobbs Memorial Match at Northampton Saints on 21 March.  Two great matches—BE THERE !

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