Rugby vs Wymondham RFC

A squad of 40 players came together on 4th September 2021 ready for war. Prior to the match the Regiment Roll of Honour was read by Lt Colonel (Retd) Eddie Thorne MC, with Last Post and Reveille being sounded. The enforced COVID break and the chance to collocate with the Wymondham RFC annual Beer Festival saw a bumper crop of over a one hundred Regimental supporters turn up to cheer the team home to victory!

The home side started strongly but it was a decisive break by former Viking and Wymondham player Aaron Hayward that allowed the ever-present Cunningham (Pompadours) to put the Regiment ahead. 5-0. Wymondham appeared to be the more organised unit, but the Regiment led by Liam McGrath (Vikings) were resolute in defence and looked to counterattack at every opportunity. On one of these attacks the ball was lost, and the Wymondham winger ran a try in despite the attentions of Luke Govier (Vikings) and Chris Seeley (Pompadours). 5-5. More pressure was exerted by the pack which was being constantly bolstered by replacements by Manager Chris Cooper (Vikings) but the match reached halftime all square despite the introduction of the ‘flight of Crowes’ (Anthony Crowe (Vikings) and his two sons).

The start of the second half saw a much more determined set of attacks by the hosts who stretched to a 12-10 lead after swapping scores (Crowe for the Regiment). The game tight required more beef which was added by the arrival Shand, Rackham and Chapman (Vikings) adding a defensive spine that started to pressurise the Wymondham team. The clock was ticking down when Mario Wood RAPTC (former Viking) twisted over for a score to give the Regiment the lead with 3 mins left. 12-15. A final score  of that magnitude would have been a fair reflection but a multi-phase move set up from the much bolstered front row where Martin ‘Bilko’ Urand (Pompadours/Poachers) and Richard Divey (6 R Anglian) led to the MoM Lt Colonel Bevis Allen scoring between the posts! 12-20 to the Regiment.

Post-match the President Maj General (Retd) Tony Pollard then made a presentation of gifts to the hosts and day committee before capping 12 players for achieving various milestones. He also capped Marie Cooke (RAMC), the long-standing club physio who had to be dragged away from her two bloodied Pompadours, Bridger and Totten to receive her award. Finally, he and Club Chairman presented a new match trophy named after the Club Secretary Maj (Retd) Ian Wilkins AGC(SPS) for his efforts in starting and maintaining this ever-growing fixture; it state: ‘ In recognition of his determination and tireless hard work in making the Royal Anglian Regimental Rugby Matches a reality since 1990; his love of rugby and the Royal Anglian family is an inspiration to all; we salute and thank you.’

The rest of the night goes into Regimental folklore and what happens on tour stays on tour. If you’d like to attend next year and require more details you can request to join the Regt Rugby Page on Facebook.

The next match will be held on 03rd September KO 1430hrs at Syston RFC in Leicestershire.