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Defence Academy hosted 13 AASR yesterday in the first round of the ARU Community Vase competition.

A competitive match with some impressive break-away tries from the visitors, spirited defending from both sides and elements of really good phase play from the hosts.

13 AASR scored almost immediately from receiving the kick off with a powerful runner, Defence Academy followed with a well worked try scored by James Metcalf.

Swirling winds made a difficult ball for the Def Acd full back, which was capitalised by 13AASR for their second try after 20 mins. The conversion was a “bend it like Beckham” style – low, hard, curling free kick from the touchline which had everyone watching thinking “wow, how did that go over!?”.

Some great driving maul work from lineouts saw the hosts level the scores about 30 mins in but the visitors responded with a further two runaway tries before the break, neither were converted.

Half time 14-29 to 13 AASR.

The second half was more evenly contested with better defensive and attacking shape from both sides. Def Acd were now playing into the wind, but despite this put in some impressive box kicks nudging the ball upfield.  A well worked try resulted for the home side, again off a maul at the lineout, and powerful running lines from the centres created a pick and go try, expertly converted into the wind by Will Jameson.

13AASR returned the favour with a well structured try, sucking in defenders with hard runners then pushing it out wide, 21-36.

Def Acd got the ball back up field again, hard running from No 8 Nate Brown committed defenders and made space for some fast ball. The backs finally managed to string some passes together and went over in the corner. 26-36.

The last 15 minutes were pretty attritional, with 13AASR camped out in the Def Acd half. The penalty count was beginning to add up and Def Acd were struggling to clear their lines.  Breakaways on the wings by both sides were narrowly stopped by good covering tackles from the back three.

All in all, a really good contest, with both sides exploiting the others weaknesses. Praise must be given to the forward packs, from which both sides were fairly inexperienced but produced a really compelling competition. Some individual brilliance was the deciding factor in a great day out.

Report and Images provided by Maj D McCarthy, PARA