Rugby Union

Army Wins Under 23s Inter Services Rugby Title

The Army secured the trophy with a 26-6 win over the RAF at Halton.

The Army has won its first under 23s Inter Services rugby title in four years after beating the RAF 26-6 in the decider at Halton.

The Army knew a win on the day would secure them the trophy after a high scoring victory over the Royal Navy last week, while the RAF needed to win by nine points to finish in top spot.

Their attempt to claw back the points started well as the Air Force kicked the first score of the game. Luke Armstrong was the man who stepped up with 12 minutes gone and he controlled the kick in the wind to get it between the posts.

From there, the weather started to play havoc. Kicks were flying out of play, passes were being needlessly dropped and scoring opportunities were few and far between but the Army did manage to find their way through in the 28th minute.

scrum Army Navy U23 Inter Services 2018/29/11
The RAF put in a good performance in the conditions but the strength of the Army proved too much.

There was a long period of pressure from the Army attackers with the RAF hanging on, but it was the determined frame of Aeron James who forced the ball over the line.

It was a try of relief for the Army who had struggled in the first half, but James converted the kick to give them a four-point lead.

Armstrong kicked another three points from a penalty to reduce the score to 7-6 at half-time.

However, in the second half, the Army flexed their muscle and took control of the game.

A scrum in a dangerous position for the Air Force resulted in the ball flicked wide to Josh Raqio and the Army man slammed himself through a couple of defenders for a try. It was a big day for Raqio and his family as his brother was lining up on the opposite side for the RAF.

Aeron James Penalty
Aeron James was top dog again for the Army, grabbing nine points on the day.

The ever-dependable James converted the try and with the score at 6-14, the RAF’s chances of winning the Inter-Services title were slipping away.  Another hard-fought try was met with a huge roar from everyone in a red shirt and when Adam Penistone converted the kick, the Army were ready to celebrate.

There was still time for one last unconverted try before the end. It was a fantastic drive from the Army with the scrum that created the opportunity and under a bundle of players, the ball was put down for one final try and the final whistle came soon after.

Watch the match back in full below:

Live coverage as the RAF face the Army in the U23s Inter Services title decider

We are LIVE from RAF Halton as the Army face the RAF in a decider for the U23s rugby Inter Services title.

Posted by Forces News on Wednesday, 28 November 2018