This was the first time that the Reds have participated the competition which had the home international teams and some of the top elite UK teams, all the national teams have professional players which ensured that the standard of the should be excellent. That said, the Reds knew the challenges and were up for what the competition was going to throw in their direction. First up were Suzuki Wailers a team showing some professional players who from the kick off pressurised the Reds, however, capitalising on the mistakes the Reds ran in two unanswered tries by Bish and Sami to give a half time lead of 14-0. The second half was definitely different to the first, Wailers came out of the blocks fighting for every scrap of possession, hot contests in the tackle area saw the ball being passed by both teams which finally saw the scores at full time 19-19. Next up in the pool stages were Crawsheys from Wales who played with a great deal of passion and true never say die Welsh spirit which entertained the spectators, the final score going to the Reds 26-14. Finally in the pool stages were Scottish Thistles the national team who played some great rugby, even with the initial score from Sami Raloka within the first minute, the Thistles knew to be patient and attack the contact area and scrap for possession, this saw the final score 17-33 to the Thistles but a great game for all giving the coaching staff lots to review with the new team. With the pool stages complete, the Reds were in the plate competition making its way to the final where they won 21-0. Overall it was a great day but the minds were focussed on the weekend’s competition in Bournemouth defending their title.
A winner takes all showdown at a sell-out stadium for the Babcock Trophy and the Inter Services title ensured there was a real sense of expectation
Both sides arrived at Twickenham full of confidence having well beaten the Royal Air Force …