The 2021/22 Premier 15s kicked off this past weekend and there were some comprehensive wins involving Army representatives.

There was no scoreline bigger than Gloucester-Hartpury’s 84-0 win over DMP Durham Sharks on Saturday, with Capt Erica Mills (RA) coming off the bench to help her team start the season in the best possible fashion.

Having secured a bonus point in just 24 minutes, the west country outfit did not relent, leading 45-0 at the break and then adding a further 39 points in the second half.

Also as relentless, and just as impressive, was Harlequins, who included Bdr Bethan Dainton (RA) on the flank for their opening round home clash with Loughborough Lightning. Loughborough, who themselves had Lt Sally Stott (RAVC) in the back row, were one of last season’s semi-finalists, but they were put to the sword by a Quins outfit who looked intent on carrying on where they left off in the 2020/21 final, Harlequins running out 50-15 victors.

The other two semi-finalists from last term also went head-to-head in Round 1, Wasps hosting Saracens at Twyford Avenue. Cpl Louise Dodd (QARANC) was in the centres for the home team, who led 10-5 at half-time and then 20-19 going into the last 10 minutes.

Unfortunately, Saracens showed their own composure and quality by scoring a try six minutes from time and then holding on for the 26-20 victory.

On the men’s side of the game teams are still in their pre-season as they build up towards the start of the Premiership, Championship and URC campaigns.

On Friday night Cpl Lewis Bean (Rifles) started for Glasgow in the Warriors’ narrow 7-12 home loss to Newcastle, the Falcons snatching the win with a pair of late tries.

Then on Saturday Gunner Senitiki Nayalo (7 Para RHA) went over for a pair of second half tries for Coventry, although he was not able to help the Blue and Whites overcome city rivals Wasps, losing 21-52.

There were also losses for both of the other two Army players involved in the professional tiers on Saturday.

Cpl John Davetanivalu (R Signals) put in a physical performance in defence as a second half replacement in Scottish’s 13-17 derby day defeat to Richmond at the Athletic Ground.

Spr Manesa Cakau (RE) was also among the replacements for Hartpury as they welcomed Ospreys to the Alpas Arena. Hartpury led 19-14 at half-time following a trio of first half tries, but the Welsh outfit turned things around after the break, scoring 35 unanswered points before Hartpury managed a late consolation to finish with a 26-49 result.

Words © New Dogs, Old Tricks, Header and Featured Image © Scrumpix

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