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Army Medical Services Regains Aki 10s Trophy In Hard-Fought Battle

Teams from the Army Medical Services (AMS) and the Royal Anglian Regiment have run out winners at the Akrotiri 10s rugby union tournament in...

Teams from the Army Medical Services (AMS) and the Royal Anglian Regiment have run out winners at the Akrotiri 10s rugby union tournament in Cyprus.

Seven teams battled it out in this year's competition, with former England international Matt Dawson on hand to present the winning trophies. 

After a week of group games came the two finals, with pre-match entertainment at RAF Akrotiri courtesy of the station's newly-formed field gun team, which showed off its skills to the watching crowd.

The Plate final was an all-Army encounter, with 2nd Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment (2 R ANGLIAN) - known as 'the Poachers', taking on a UK-based team from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment RLC.

It ended up a very one-sided affair, with the Poachers dominating from the first whistle.

Aki 10s Cyprus rugby union tournament 2018

By the end of the first half, they'd run in seven tries, with the number 11 Private Stuart Hyde scoring three of them.

The battalion's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Weston was also among the scorers.

11 EOD Regiment RLC had no reply and with another two tries and a conversion in the second half, the Poachers completed a demolition job, running out 58-0 victors.

The Poachers' captain, Sergeant Gary Farrell, told Forces Network:

"We had a game plan, just to play how we've been training [and] control the game. 

"We know when we control the game and we give the ball to our backs, they're devastating in what they can do... [We] proved it on the pitch."

The Cup final line-up was exactly as many had predicted at the start of the Aki 10s.

In yellow were top seeds the Army Medical Services, who won the competition in 2015 and 2016.

They were up against last year's champions, the RAF Akrotiri Flamingos.

Both teams had notched up big wins on the way to the final, touching down more than 40 tries during their six group games.

They'd also met before in the earlier rounds, with AMS winning that close encounter 10-7.

The home side was first to score, through Corporal Adam Self.

Aki 10s Cyprus rugby union tournament 2018

AMS, however, responded with two tries and by the break, the medics were ahead 12-10.

The second half was a bit of nail-biter, with AMS' captain extending the lead early on. 

But the Flamingos weren't done yet, with Corporal Paul Butterly smashing away several would-be tacklers and bursting over the try line. 

But the RAF team didn't manage to take advantage and convert - and soon the away side sealed it.

Captain Bart Van Herwijnen ran in his second try of the game, to see AMS regain the Aki 10s title with a 22-15 victory.

 

Lance Corporal Cameron Jobson-Wood said:

"[It's] probably the toughest game I've played so far. Both teams went at it.

"We were sure we were the better team and I think we showed that - but I've got to give credit to them because they played really well."

This was the Aki 10s' 33rd year and despite it being a much smaller tournament than usual the rugby was still highly competitive.

Each game was hard-fought - and victory just as sweet.

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