MATCH REPORT CHALLENGE WOOLWICH ARSENAL VS BEASTS FROM THE EAST 2019
Conditions on Sunday 10th February were not ideal, with strong winds and biting cold but it wasn’t enough to deter the 2 Teams and the handful of spectators who turned up for the third challenge match between Woolwich Arsenal and their old friends and league adversaries Beasts From The East. The score stood at one game all, so whoever won this one would get their nose in front in the series.
The game began with the Beasts taking an early 2 point lead courtesy of some strong running by one of the girls on the team. The Arsenal soon pegged this back with some excellent team play. The game see-sawed back and forth for the first quarter with a score by one team matched by a score by the other and neither team managing to open up a gap. What was noticeable was some excellent individual performances on the Beasts side, whereas The Arsenal’s team play was better. They were operating more as a coordinated unit. This difference began to tell and by half time, The Arsenal had established a healthy lead.
The second half continued much as the first had ended with The Arsenal dominating with their team play. The lead was stretched, however the Beasts mounted a late effort and pegged this back in the final quarter. The arsenal ran out eventual winners with a score of 13 points to 9. Congratulations to both teams for an entertaining and keenly contested match played in a sporting manner.
WOOLWICH ARSENAL 13 BEASTS FROM THE EAST 8
(The challenge match is a as a series of games to be played over the year. It’s an invite by the club any given Sunday once a month in a bid for the champion’s cup friendly)
By Martin O’Donnell – Member/Player/Ref
Photos From The Day IN FULL
As part of a series of regional friendly matches being played over a 12 month period, this third exciting tag rugby game boasted a record turnout with over 24 players alongside a number of supporters.
Royal Arsenal had the pleasure of hosting ‘Grubber Lang’, a side with tremendous experience and success, playing high level tag rugby.
The match took place on Barrack field with its spectacular backdrop of the Royal Artillery Barracks’ parade ground and façade. The players were in high spirits, energized by the glorious sunny weather and the London marathon runners passing by on the South Circular Road.
The match began well for Royal Arsenal who repeatedly pushed their attack into the away side’s half, nearly scoring on more than one occasion. The game remained even until late into the first half when Grubber Lang’s experience in the Super League came to the fore with their talented players executing bursts of stunning rugby. The visiting team’s determination to maintain their well-deserved reputation as one of the best teams in London allowed them to consolidate their lead in the second half ultimately achieving a convincing victory against the hosts. Of note, John Hoskins scored an incredible try for Royal Arsenal, breaking Grubber Lang’s defensive line with clever footwork coupled with impressive speed.
After the main match, players from both teams then intermixed forming four smaller sides and two simultaneous games followed providing invaluable experience for the Royal Arsenal players to learn from Grubber Lang. Players and supporters from both teams then retired to a popular watering hole near the river down the road Woolwich Arsenal for well-deserved food and drinks.
By Dr. Luke Powles – RARC Member/Player/Health & Safety Officer
Well done to our visiting team Grubber Lang .( Keep an eye out on social media for updates.)
Sunday April 22nd will see another challenge match as part of the ‘Friendly Series’ of games to be played in 2018. It’s the very first year the club has put together a list of formidable tag rugby league teams to go up against on a friendly basis. It will be traditionally be played at their home ground, the sports field opposite the Woolwich barracks.
The opposition ‘Grubber Lang’ are a massive force to be reckoned with because this in a higher level ranking team in relation to the London Leagues.
We expect an impressive turnout on the day, with the game kicking of at the usual time of midday Sunday April 22nd. All welcome to join us on the day.
Sunday 14th January saw our very first challenge match on home turf, the sports field opposite the Woolwich barracks. The opposition was ‘Beasts from the East’ another South East London team. There was an impressive turnout on the day, both players and some club officials who turned out to support, the club. It was especially encouraging to see excellent representation on the ladies side, including some new faces. We are not always blessed with great conditions in winter but on this occasion the weather was perfect for tag. A dry day with an extremely mild temperatures.
To the game itself. From the kick-off it was clear that neither team was prepared to hang about and in the opening minute we had the first score with a breakaway try for the RA team. This was an ideal start and a good way to settle any opening butterflies. The ‘Beasts’ replied fairly quickly after that and that set the tone for most of the first half, with the teams matching each other score for score. The game remained tight like this with neither team gaining the upper hand till around the 15 minute mark. In the 5 minutes leading up to the break the RA team gained the upper hand with a flurry of tries including some 2 pointers from the girls. This resulted in a half time margin of 6 points, with RA leading by 11 to 5. So things were looking good at half time and the team talk revolved around ‘more of the same’ for the second half, with no need to go for broke just match the opposition in the second half.
That’s exactly what the team did. They maintained their superiority, controlled the match and never at any point looked like surrendering the lead. In fact they managed to extend this by the mid-point in the second half. The beasts put up a spirited fight and came on strong towards the end managing to claw back some of the deficit but RA were able to maintain the gap and the game ended with an impressive win 17/11 in favour of the RA team. This was a great game to watch and one of the most sporting matches I’ve witnessed, with all of the players observing the rules and the match played in the true spirit of tag, highly competitive but fair.
After the game it was handshakes all round and then a quick hike back down the hill to the arsenal with both teams indulging in some well-deserved post-match food and drink. For an inaugural challenge match it couldn’t have gone much better and this type of competitive match with a team of a similar standard helps to raise the skill levels and develop team play. So look out for more of the same in the future. The ‘Beasts’ will be keen for a rematch, I’m sure, to even up the scores.
By Martin O’Donnell – Member/Player/Ref
Photos From The Day IN FULL
“In 2017, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These people promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the deep-level electric railway line known as the “underground”. Today, still wanted by the UK government – they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a tag rugby game, if no one else can help, and if you can find them….maybe you can play The Beasts From the East
Beasts From The East play their inaugural game against Royal Arsenal on Sun Jan 14th, 2018