17 Port & Maritime Regiment 27—3 Welsh Guards
‘Bunny’ Burenivalu rolled back the years to score a fine brace at Marchwood on 22 January. Now 37 years of age, he showed all the magic and most of the pace that caused Twickenham to erupt in appreciation in 2004. Two clinical breaks, with unapproved spectacular splashdowns, took the score to 27-pts—3. The Dolphins were home and, for once, dry.
This was a ‘school’ performance where the ball carrier was never isolated. Going into contact was a vigorous contest to move the ball forward until the heavy mob arrived. Sammy Raloko, Luke Vuertibureta and Ronan Bolger really put in the hard yards.
Unusually, the Guards , sadly, lacked ideas and were all too easily tackled to a standstill before the gain line. Route 1 simply caused early traffic jams, no roundabouts or ring roads were tested and inevitably the ball went to ground where the Dolphins showed remarkably spirited rucking. A turnover was always a possibility. Army lock Steve George was ‘up for it’ but it was clear at the end of the first quarter that the Guards fearsome reputation for overwhelming forward power had gone. To an expert on ‘blood and thunder’ Welsh Guards techniques of the late 1950s, it was also clear that the days of Dai Bowen and Ginge Hearne were truly dead.
Despite showing well up front the Dolphins soon lost any inhibitions about spreading the ball. They launched successive attacks and vitally dominated territory. Tony Naulamatua at scrum half produced a stream of ball to put the Dolphins on the front foot as they went through the phases. To do that well is not as easy as it looks and concentrated hard graft produced two overlaps for Vuertibureta and Bugsey Malone to generate a 13 pt lead.
When the Dolphins had built a healthy surplus Bunny Burenivalu was slotted onto the right wing. A double whammy from the old master and it was a semi- final against Royal Welsh at Newbury.
2 Rifles – 12 V 12 RA – 23
Yorks – 19 V 7 RHA – 6
2 Welsh v RMAS to be played 29 Jan at Tidworth – KO1530hrs
YORKS V 12 RA – KO 1330hrs – New College Pitch
17 P&M V 2 R Welsh / RMAS – KO 1415 – Government House Pitch
Both games to be played at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on Wed 19 Feb 14