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Army v Worcester – Match Report

Army Survives Acid Test at Worcester

No sooner had the Army left the tunnel at Sixways than they were five points down. Ten minutes later Worcester had scored a second try following an exhibition of Premiership rugby that delighted a very good home crowd. There was bound to be a lot of crowd pleasing on the night as Worcester had fielded a side where nineteen of the players had recent Premiership experience and six were Saturday regulars.

The Worcester rugby was attractive and slick but it was also robust. The Army had to dig deep to a man. Every number tackled magnificently—very hard and where it hurt. More importantly the Reds picked up the tempo straight after a second home try and produced a very good match.

All the ‘names’ played well as did Stuart Silvester at hooker—in my opinion his best game in a Reds’ shirt. Ronan Bolger at lock, all shoulders and knees, took the heat and Craig Fillier, a highly effective open side flanker was swift to move from tracking to action. The three were in the vanguard of the counter attacks and frequently required mass tackling to halt their progress.

At half back Tom Chennell and James Reid were as one. Chennell has a long pass and can frequently be seen in the middle of the furnace.

With quick service and space Reid has come on well since 2011 and if he can find a yard of attack speed and a couple of flashes of guile he would set the place alight. Dave Duffus who arrived after the break was in predatory mood. His try in the second half was a mix of flair, cussedness and white line fever. He knew he was going to score five seconds before we did. He had other quality attacking moments and could be the find of the season so far.

Looking at the second half only the Army was a match for Worcester, who had also made a couple of changes. The scrum rocked the pros—Chris Budgen, Rick Reeves and Mattie Dwyer were granits solid and Dwyer on the charge proved difficult to halt. With Darrell Ball back at the helm the Army was well led. He is a hive of hard work, increasingly rugged as the years go by and frequently in a position to produce that extra bit of continuity. It was no coincidence that under his leadership the Army got to grips with the pace and guile of a very good Worcester outfit.

In the last ten minutes the Army hammered at the Worcester line and scored a great try with Peceli Nacamavuto off-loading to the ever dependable Samesi Rokoduguni who flew to the line. At that stage the Army were in top gear and very impressive. Worcester at Sixways was the 2012 acid test for Andy Sanger and his men. They came through well and can build from here. Sanger said “I was very proud of the players against what is essentially a professional Premiership outfit. If we had had a third half the result could have been different !”

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