Annual Regimental Rugby - post match report

The Annual Regimental Rugby match took place on Saturday 2nd September in blistering heat at Rochford RFC. Following the traditional roll of honour and bugle calls both teams and the 200+ crowd were ready for the game.

Resplendent in RHQ funded warm shirts the Royal Anglians faced off against a youthful and plentiful Rochford squad who had a little too much puff for the Regiment who were shorn of all but two serving members. Despite this, an entertaining match saw the hosts tested and ‘on toast’ in the scrummage before eventually running out winners 51-38.

The match wasn’t all one-sided as the gnarled Regimental veterans played a tight game and only offered space on the outside after their strong-arm tactics failed or a lack of unity led to an error and a turn over. The home team started fast and despite an early score the Regiment shocked them by replying with a brace of tries, the first by MoM Cpl Simon Mataceva (Vikings), on his way to a first hat trick in the fixture.

Then another from Sgt Karl Smith (Vikings) who was driven over by his pals in the pack. The match was played in quarters due to the heat separated by water breaks. A pattern soon developed, with the Rochford team able to run through their well-practiced routines only to be foiled by last ditch tackles by the Regiment or errors from the home team. Rochford scored some great tries and the Regimental team for their part started to have some success with short range drives, especially with Spencer and Barker (Vikings) and some strong Pompadour driving from Green and Knifton.

These efforts kept the match tight enough to be entertaining and up until the last 10 minutes. The Regiment stayed within 2 scores of their youthful hosts. The additional tries were dotted down by Mataceva (2) Fitzgerald and Barker.

Post-match the outgoing Chair Jim Cunningham was involved in a cap exchange with new Chair Liam McGrath before the other post-match activities were conducted. The new Chair then presented caps to Nick Austin for his fund raising and sponsorship and a special 35th match award to Pete Barrs (Vikings) who has played every match since the team’s inception under the late Maj Julian Pollard (Vikings). A stunning achievement. An outstanding contribution award to the club was also made as (Pompadour) Lawrence ‘Percy’ Parsons was awarded the Dewick Shield.

The Rugby bandwagon and it’s ever growing fan base moves onto Tring RFC next year with a match against the host on Sat 31st Aug 24.

More detail available from the secretary Ian Wilkins by email


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