“It’s all about composure,” was how WO2 Chris Harris (R Welsh) summed up the final few minutes of this week’s Army Masters win over the English Fire Service.
Having been in front for long periods the Masters fell behind when the Fire Service turned possession and pressure into points in the final quarter to hit the front with 10 minutes to play.
But back came the red shirts, and with Sgt Nacamavuto (RE) showing his eye for a gap and ability to put a scoring pass away for a third time in the contest, the hosts were over for the crucial try.
WO2 Harris converted, adding to his penalty at the start of the second half, and while the Masters had to withstand some serious pressure in the final passages of the contest to see out time for a 32-27 win.
“It was a good trial for people to get experience of Masters rugby,” WO2 Harris commented. “We’re building every day and with every game, and that’s what is key for us. They were a tough side, the strongest we’ve come across so far, and to get a win against a strong side is really good.
“If you’re in front you keep the scoreboard ticking if you can, or just defend really hard, squeeze them and force an error.”
Although the heavy rain earlier in the day had passed before kick off, there was still a strong wind and regular heavy showers during the 80 minutes. So it was to everyone’s credit that both teams played with plenty of ambition and no little skill, with excellent handling on show from forwards and backs alike.
“It was challenging, although conditions went for both sides,” WO2 Harris said. “We utilised it to build up the score, then in the second half they came really hard. They kicked their corners well and were ferocious in attack and defence. Luckily enough we were strong enough to hold out until the end.”
WO2 Harris played the full 80 minutes, the first half at scrum-half and the second in his more usual position at fly half, and he added that he viewed it as a positive experience as the squad continues to develop ahead of the 2023 Inter-Services Championship.
“I play a number of positions, although 10 is my natural position, so it gave me some good interest period at nine in case I have to go there again,” he commented. “It’s different mixing it up with the forwards instead of doing some fancy stuff in the backs!”
Words © New Dogs, Old Tricks
Header and Featured Image © Army Rugby Union