Rugby League

Army Rugby League Celebrate Reaching Challenge Cup Fourth Round For First Time Ever

A brilliant comeback from the military side saw them beat Ince Rose Bridge in Aldershot.

The Army rugby league team have made it into the fourth round of the Challenge Cup for the first time in their history.

A remarkable second-half comeback saw the forces team come out on top of a 34-22 victory.

This is only the second time ever that a military team has made it this far in the tournament after the Navy previously achieved the feat.

The Army made the perfect start to the game when they took the lead early on.

Benji O’Connell's pass was perfect for the marauding run of Jefeti Vakalalabure who touched down in the corner for a four-point lead.

Lancashire-based Ince Rose Bridge were soon back in the game, however.

Jack Morrison set up Dan Dainty to score and Dan Cassidy added the conversion to make it 6-4 to the visitors.

They were further in front before the half-time break.

Cassidy converted his own score and the Army were facing an eight-point deficit at the interval after Keiron Roche missed two penalties at the end of the first half.

The Army knew a big performance was needed in the final 40 minutes.

The Army stepped it up a gear after the interval and were right back in the game after just three minutes of the second half.

Roche fed O'Connell who managed to get it wide for Uraia Naulusala. The Fijian took over from there and swept over the try line for a converted try to make it 12-10.

The powerful forces player was not done yet. He intercepted Calum Hughes' cross-field kick and left the Ince Rose defenders behind with a pacy run forward to score.

Roche converted again and the Army now led by four points.

Right from the restart, they scored again. Vakalalabure picked up the ball on the half-way line and drove through the visitors' defence for a converted try.

Gaps were started to show in the Ince Rose defence and Naulusala could have grabbed his hat-trick.

Instead, he unselfishly laid the ball on a plate for Jamie Laing to score the Army's fifth try of the match.

Bradley Smithy pulled one back for Ince Rose but a sixth try for the military side finished off the contest.

O'Connell got his own name on the scoresheet and another Roche conversion made it a 34-22 final score.

The Army will find out their fourth-round opponents in the draw at 6.30pm UK time.