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A terrific team performance from 1 Royal Welsh ensured they overcame the disappointment of last season’s runners-up finish to win the Knock-out Cup with a 48-12 victory against Lyneham Knights.

An opening quarter full of endeavour and physicality yielded no points, but having seen a penalty come up short, Knights hit the front when a cross-field kick was knocked inside for livewire full-back Cfn Ben Hurford-John to dance his way over the whitewash.

A late and possibly high tackle gave Welsh the chance to get on the scoreboard just before the half-hour mark, and LCpl Aaron James made no mistake in slotting a penalty from 35 metres out.

And his side hit the front shortly afterwards when a strong carry from impressive inside centre and vice-captain Fus Lewis Allen set-up Fus Luke Dyer to cross the whitewash.

LCpl James landed the conversion for a 10-5 half-time lead, and the Dragons made the perfect start to the second period when Fus Ben Bulubuluwale stripped the ball in midfield before running in from halfway.

Lyneham kept going though, and kept themselves in the contest when a beautiful long line-out throw from hooker Cfn Jowey Fisher was taken on the full by the inside centre to smash his way over the line.

The extras were added to cut the deficit to five points, but that was as good as it got for a young and talented REME outfit.

Almost immediately the Welsh went up the other end before Allen took a quick tap-and-go to crash over from five metres out, James making no mistake for 24-12.

Clear daylight was established when Knights were made to pay for failing to make touch from a penalty, losing a battle of kick tennis before LCpl Rasousou galloped under the uprights for James to add the easiest of conversions.

The fly-half was becoming increasingly influential both with ball in hand and with a series of deft kicks, and his magic off the boot then sent a cross-field ball into the onrushing hands of replacement wing Fus Kaloucava to go over on the left.

Things went from bad to worse for Knights as they chased the game, another replacement, Fus Fifita, catching an attempted chip ahead before racing in from half-way, and after man-of-the-match James converted, another beautiful assist allowed Kaloucava to double his tally with the last action of an entertaining contest.

Words © Richard Ashton

All images – Alligin Photography © Lee Crabb


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