Royal Arsenal vs Woolwich Arsenal – Going great guns
The second game of the Spring season, on Wednesday March 14th, saw the match where fellow Arsenolians had to turn their attentions to one another.
Arsenal vs Arsenal, many hoped it would be a friendly knock about, some feared it could become a bitter blood feud.
The game started brightly with both teams defending to a very high standard, arguably better than they’ve done before.
But as the first half wore on, Royal Arsenal (RA) took control with two tries from Kyle and one from John Gavin.
By the end of the first half Woolwich Arsenal (WA) began using their “flying V” defense to great effect — surging forward in defense from the middle of the line. It hemmed in RA’s attacks to the right corner. Only one person was able to break the siege.
Kyle threw a “Hail Mary” miss pass out left which bounced high above players’ heads, only to be plucked from the air by Emma. She sidestepped right and ghosted in between two defenders to score a memorable try.
At half time the score was 5-1 with RA looking good for the win. But they didn’t count on a resurgence from WA who regrouped with new, devilishly-effective tactics.
It began with kicker Katy firing low, accurate kick offs into the left corner of the pitch, making large amounts of territory.
There was also a foundation of organisation and skill from Gary who controlled the direction of play and the defense well. He also scored a good try.
But who really turned the balance was Jack who made the most of the ample space RA gave him. With ball in hand he cut across and through RA’s defense, scoring four tries at high speed.
Jonny and Errol also scored two valuable tries as the pendulum swung towards WA.
Kyle and George lead a small fightback, scoring two in the second half, but it was not enough to win the game.
By the final whistle both teams had arguably performed (though not at the same time) at the highest level they have done to date. The referee was so impressed he said both teams should be playing in the Super League. He also rewarded man of the match to John Gavin who he called: “The loudest man on the field.”
But it was little consolation for RA who felt they had virtually thrown the game away. WA felt they had resurrected and nearly won it.
All in all it was a good test of all players. We learned as a whole we can perform at a higher level and any differences were forgotten on the friendly, chilly trudge back to the Arsenal.
By George Sargent – Player / Club Member
Footage From The Day Photos
FINAL SCORE ROYAL ARSENAL 7 WOOLWICH ARSENAL 7