BRITISH ARMY GERMANY RUGBY entered the annual Nivelles 7’s tournament in Belgium. The team met in Dempsey Bks the home of BA (G) Rugby, due to deployment and Regimental commitments, the squad was shorn of many of its regular players. This gave the Director of Rugby Capt Paul Jones QDG and coaches SSgt (SSI) Chris Williams 3 CS Bn REME and SSgt Rob Jones QDG, the perfect opportunity to blood new players for the forthcoming season.
We then departed for SHAPE in Belgium. When we arrived we were met by Retired Colonel Nick Brehaut, once a BA (G) player himself. Nick hosted us throughout the tournament, he made sure that the team were well looked after. From all the team, thank you Nick. The commitment from the players was outstanding, LCpl Chris Burke 35Eng drove 10 hours from Bavaria to play, true commitment to the team.
The team were focused, and that evening all had a good feed and had an early night. The next day was an early start the mini buses were packed and we were off to regain our title. Being in the Army we were the first to arrive at the competition eager and ready. Cpl John Wedlock 1PWRR was in the zone and ready to pounce. The team had a run out to configure a few moves, when LCpl Taylor Dunning 35 Eng `finally stopped doing hand stands.
The first two games were against the Black Stallion’s & Kibubu. Good enough sides but not a match for the BA (G). We drew ‘Lorraine’ in the quarter finals, a full time French 7s team coached by an ex French International.
Preliminaries rounds 1 and 2:
The game was very close throughout, with standout performances from Rfn Jack kirmond 5 Rifles, LCpl Scorby Ratubavalu 1 PWRR and new player Gnr Liam Thompson 1 UK Div. With typical Army passion, determination and aggression we won the game and were through to the semi final. The boys were doing a sterling job; all that could stop us now was injury, as we only had 12 players.
We waited anxiously for the semi final draw; we knew it was either the Les Bleus or Saxons Elite. The draw came, it was Saxons Elite, an English sevens specialist team that compete at the highest level in the Uk. The tension was high. The team received their final words of wisdom from the coaching staff then the game started. We were committed, so committed that Spr Mac Koryiardi 35 Eng was injured with an open fracture to his thumb. He called for tape, wrapped it around his wound and continued to play. Half time it was 2 tries each. The boys knew what they had to do; we were receiving more injuries and running out of players fast. LCpl Taylor Dunning was out with a knock to the head, Mac was out with his open fracture, the pressure was on. The end was in sight, the Saxon’s had just claimed a try in the last few seconds. We were robbed, poor decisions by the referee cost us the game.
Semi Final Gallery:
The overall commitment and attitude was overwhelming, the level of performance from the BA (G) players was first class, which deserved better than the narrow defeat to the Saxon’s Elite. The BA (G) team and management now look forward to our pre season games, leading up to playing the Army A in November.
If you are interested in representing BA (G) Rugby either speak to your Unit Rugby officer or visit the BA (G) Rugby facebook page.