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The Royal Artillery booked their place in the Corps Championship Division One final with a game to spare following a hard-fought 27-14 at Royal Logistics Corps.

The Gunners made a perfect start as Gnr Semi Tokodaudau (4RA) made a strong carry before LBdr Jack Fitzgerald’s (26RA) mini-break took the visitors closer to the line, and it was the former who then got over the line for the opening score.

Fitzgerald added the extras, but a clever line-out move from RLC sent hooker Sgt Joe Brown over on the right to cut the gap.

Cpl Ethan Riley was unable to add the extras or a 35-metre penalty, but after the visitors had a huge maul stopped on the line, he was able to slot a couple of three-pointers to nudge his side 11-7 in front.

RLC came under more pressure towards the end of the first half – reduced to 14 men for a yellow card in their red zone – but they held out to the interval.

A magical Fitzgerald solo score pushed the Artillery in front early in the second period – the stand-off collecting his own kick before getting over the line, only for another Riley penalty to mean the lead changed hands again.

However, the Gunners came on strong as the game progressed, and with their opponents twice wasting five-metre scrums – the second won against the head – another formidable maul was stopped short before scrum-half Sgt Vunivesilevu (7 PARA RHA) had the easiest task of touching the ball down.

Home wing Pte Vuniyayawa was brilliantly stopped as he looked like he might get his side back into the contest, but RA wrapped up the bonus-point with a Gnr Joe Visie (19RA) close-range effort and a drop-kicked Fitzgerald penalty.

The Royal Engineers are looking favourable to join the Gunners in the final following their 19-13 triumph versus the REME.

No. 8 Spr Vili Tabutamata was at the double for the visitors after LCpl Wise went over, Cfn Solo Radianirova and Cfn Hurford-John replying for REME.

In League Two, Infantry conceded their game to Royal Signals – meaning the two will face off in the final – while Royal Armoured Corps picked up five points after Army Air Corps could not raise a side.

The Royal Army Physical Corps climbed to second in League Three after a 40-7 success against the International Corps, while leaders Army Medical Services took five points from Adjutant General Corps.

REME Masters made it five wins from five with a tough 30-27 triumph against Royal Engineers, while the Royal Artillery matched the men’s side with a 41-29 victory at RLC.

Words © Richard Ashton

All images – Alligin Photography © Andrew Fosker


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