Warning - the above report contains some flash photography

The Army's young rugby players have got their Under-23 Inter-Services rugby campaign off to a winning start.

They left it late to beat the Royal Air Force 19-13 in Aldershot.

Despite having the lion's share of possession and territory, the first half of the match was a litany of Army mistakes.

Penalised within the first five minutes, the RAF's fly half James West got the first points on the board for the airmen.

Then came over 20 minutes spent in the Army half.

Army Under 23s Rugby

Handling errors, spilling the ball in the tackle and poor decision-making meant no score for the men in red, with the potential there but no execution.

The closest they got was a cross in the corner but Gunner Richards was in touch.

Meanwhile, the RAF did well to soak up the pressure, making some crucial tackles and stopping the home team from getting through.

Another penalty conceded by the Army and converted by West gave the RAF a 6-0 lead at half time.

Who knows what was said in the dressing room, but the men in red regained some composure for the second 40 minutes.

Army Under 23s Rugby

And finally, after 60 minutes, the Army broke through. Tom O'Rourke danced his way round the light blue defence for the five points, with Aaron James making the conversion count.

James then created the second Army try, with a run down the left flank. He passed off to Adrea Vasuitoga, who scored in the corner.

O'Rourke added another, easily converted by James

And then the airmen grabbed themselves a deserved late score - but it wasn't enough, leaving the Army 19-13 winners. Team captain Sapper Marcus Mercer said:

"We did well, grafting... Consistency is obviously key. We executed really well and it was a really good fight."

The RAF will host title holders the Royal Navy at RAF Halton next week, before the Army travel to Portsmouth the week after.

More - As It Happened: 2017 Army Sports Awards

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