Skip to main content

The determination and doggedness in defence of their own try line earned the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers the 2022/23 Masters title, according to Head Coach, SSgt Graeme Harvey.

Having pipped the Royal Artillery 24-21 in early December, REME pulled down the shutters in Aldershot when silverware was on the line to win 17-0.

“The defence won us the game,” SSgt Harvey reflected. “It was unreal. The Gunners were on our try line for about 15, 20 minutes of the game and we managed to nil them. We’ve worked on it on Monday and Tuesday and it paid dividend today.

“I’m super proud of the team.”

REME took on the Royal Artillery on the Queens Avenue pitches in several inches of snow which had blanketed the grass but had also left the ground soft underneath. It was far from the balmy spring of 2022 and the May heat of last season’s finals, and SSgt Harvey said that the team had to show plenty of adaptability to come out on top against the Gunners.

“We plan for clear conditions and had a structure which was to get the ball wide,” he added. “That wasn’t possible today and the boys adapted really well, which was pleasing. They played the conditions really well.”

REME’s title came at the end of a campaign in which they won four of five matches to finish top of the Masters’ league standings, an achievement which reflects how far the REME squad has come in a short time since rugby returned after the pandemic lockdowns.

“We’ve got a squad of 36, 40 players,” he said. “We’ve come from nothing over the last two or three years to have that number of players, which is brilliant.

“There’s a mixture of players who have played Army and Corps rugby for years and years, but we’ve also got players who have never played at that level and have come on in leaps and bounds. Some of them started today, and I’m really proud of that progression.”

Masters rugby is for players aged 35 and over, and every Corps team is always looking for more players, along with coaches, volunteers and administrators. To find out more contact Capt Spencer ‘Sutty’ Sutton – Team Manager for the Army Masters squad.

There is more rugby back in Aldershot on Wednesday, March 15th, when the Senior Men host the French Army. Kick off is 1900hrs, and all are welcome.

Tickets for the 2023 Inter-Services Championship are now on sale.

CLICK HERE for information about the Army v RAF at Kingsholm, Gloucester, on Saturday, April 15th.

CLICK HERE for information about Army Navy at Twickenham on Saturday, May 13th.

Words © New Dogs, Old Tricks

All images – Alligin Photography © Andrew Fosker