Royal Arsenal Autumn League ’18 Match Report – 1st Fixture

Royal Arsenal 4 | Mondo Jugs 7

Royal Arsenal got their season underway on Wednesday night with a battling loss to the Mondo Jugs.

A new line-up meant there was some fresh faces turning out for RA for the first game of the autumn season, but the players quickly gelled and formed a tough defensive line.

It’s a rare game where both teams force the other to get through six tags more often than not, but it was a credit to both defences that attackers often found themselves staring down blind alleys.

The first half was a close affair with the Jugs leading RA for the majority of the period, and the second half kicked off in much the same way with a closely-fought battle being decided by the finest of margins.

The jugs did eventually manage to open up a two-point gap towards the end of regular time, and added another try for good measure in the dying moments. 

But RA can be pleased with their efforts, especially considering the new line-up meant the offensive side of the ball wasn’t quite moving at 100 per cent.

Now both Royal Arsenal and Woolwich Arsenal can look forward to a hotly-anticipated derby clash next week that will mark WA’s first game of the new season.

Report by Joel Watson




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Royal Arsenal Early Summer League ’18 Match Report – GRAND FINAL

Royal Arsenal 3 Kool and the Gang 6

Royal Arsenal got the night of finals underway in a three-way playoff between themselves, Kool and the Gang and Steve Thorpe Destroyers.

Despite some spirited defending and some dramatic last-minute tags from George, the Royals never really got going in the shortened 20-minute game.

When Arsenal managed to move the ball along the line, the gaps started opening up and the tries started coming, but it wasn’t often enough in the first game to get the win.

Royal Arsenal 8 Steve Thorpe Destroyers 5
Luckily, RA didn’t have to wait long to make amends and came out against the STDs much better than in the first game.

Quick attacking moves were finished off by Kyle and Jenny and the defence held firm against a barrage of attacks.

If Royal Arsenal had put in more performances of this quality earlier in the season, they’d be true challengers for the title.

As it was, RA finished in 6th, although it could have been much higher if a couple of breaks had gone our way earlier in the season.

Players’ player of the season: George Sargent and Kyle Graham

Most improved: Jenny Goddard

Woolwich Arsenal 13 Tag Em and Bag Em 9

Since the third week of the season, Woolwich Arsenal have been on the warpath, marching straight through most of the league to reach the Grand Final and a shot at the Early Summer League title.

The opposition were Tag Em and Bag Em, a fiery side who had become known as much for their quick tempers as their undoubted talent.

WA proved last week they had what it took the beat the league leaders and went into the game full of confidence – but the pitch was largely quiet as the tense match kicked off.

It was end-to-end stuff in the opening period of the game, with both sides looking to make their presence felt and pick up early scores.

Woolwich managed to get the better of the early exchanges with Ashley adding to her impressive tally of tries this season and Ovie making a frequent menace of himself with bursts down the wing.

TEBE weren’t going down easily though, and looked focussed as they held onto the game in the first half, racking up some tries and going into the break just one point behind Woolwich at 4-3.

In the second period, the game really got going. Tired legs led to frequent breaks by both sides, but WA’s defending was fantastic led by tagging extraordinaires Katie and Gary, who single- handedly snuffed out several TEBE attacks, even when pressed back on their own goal line.

TEBE tempers started flaring once again as the game went on, leading to handling errors, penalties for fending plenty else besides. But as their opponents lost their cool, Woolwich kept their heads and kept applying the pressure.

A breakaway by standout player Julia turned the game on its head as she broke through the middle before offloading the ball to Christian who finished off the move and extended the gap between the sides to three points.

And from there, the game was no longer in doubt. Jules was brilliant in the middle of the field, tagging everyone within arms’ reach and moving the ball well in attack.

Errol and Christian added some extra attacking flair when it was needed and the whole team held together as a unit to finish of the game clear winners.

Plenty of drinks flowed in the aftermath as Julia deservedly earned player of the match.

And there was medals for all the WA players in the bar afterwards, marking a massive achievement for the side who finished dead last in the league the season before.

Players’ player of the season: Ashley Carson

Most improved: Jules Gillette

Report by Joel Watson



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Royal Arsenal Summer League ’18 Match Report – 3rd Fixture (Arsenal Derby)

Royal Arsenal 10 Woolwich Arsenal 3

Royal Arsenal showed off their championship credentials on Wednesday with a well-earned victory over club rivals Woolwich Arsenal.

After blowing hot and cold last season, RA are off to a hot start in the new league, and they started this game strongly, opening the scoring and racing ahead to a 3-0 lead early in the first half.The first scores came on lightning counter attacks, as the Royals pinched possession from WA passes.

But more impressive than the attacking was the defensive effort, where RA barely conceded an inch as they covered every blade of grass between the cones.On returning to the team, George was at his energetic best, sweeping up behind the defensive line and cutting holes in WA’s defense to set up scores.

And in a dominant first half, RA racked up 6 points to WA’s 1 and went into the break with a comfortable margin between the sides.Woolwich recovered from their shellshock in the second period and quickly fought back with two scores in quick succession.

Christian showed off some flare with a couple of crossfield kicks that found the mark and left RA’s defense flat-footed.

But before long Royal Arsenal got back in the attacking groove to tally up a few more points, with Jenny scoring a well-deserved try after sprinting the length of the pitch on a supporting run.

The second half, that finished 4-3 to RA, was a fairer reflection of the game than the final score indicated.But it was a strong performance from the Royals nonetheless who are full of confidence heading into a clash with Beasts from the East next time out.

Man of the match went to Jules as he provided his usual combo of defensive work rate and offensive speed.And despite the loss, Woolwich can quickly put this performance behind them as key players will likely return for their next match against Tryphoon Season.

Report by Joel Watson



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Royal Arsenal Summer League ’18 Match Report – 1st Fixture

Royal Arsenal 9 Kool and the Gang 5

The season got underway proper for Royal Arsenal this week with their game against Kool and the Gang.And while the Royals struggled to a draw in the same fixture last year, they had no such problems this time round.

RA had to kick off a bit of rust early in the game and conceded a pair of sloppy tries in the opening minutes.But from there, they recovered to put their foot on the gas and started racking up the tries.

Royal Arsenal sliced through KATG’s defensive line regularly and managed to offload the ball to Woolwich Arsenal loanees Katy and Ashley to get the scoreboard ticking over.

Kyle, in his last game for the side before his summer hiatus, was at his attacking best, gaining big ground a regular basis. But even more impressive was the team defence with Abbey and Jesse excelling as they shut down KATG attacks, along with Ali and Rhianna darting around on a rum-fueled rampage after two weeks in the Caribbean.

The pace of the game slowed down in the second half on a warm summer evening and RA finished the fixture comfortable victors.

Woolwich Arsenal 11 – Tagalog 13

After an easy win in their first match of the season, Woolwich Arsenal suffered a narrow defeat to the explosive Tagalog in their second game.

Despite racking up the points once again in an impressive attacking display, a lack of defensive organisation left Tagalog’s pace merchants too much room to run through, and they wasted no time in piling on the points.

However, despite a tough first half, WA would not be kept down and showed huge resilience to mount a comeback in the second period. Ashley again was unstoppable close to the try line, tallying up even more points to keep the game close.

And towards the end of time, another darting score brought WA within a point at 10-9. But a couple of defensive miscues left Tagalog’s speedy wingers enough space to run in a couple more tries and put the game out of reach.

Despite the loss, there was still plenty of talent on show from Woolwich and with another week or two to warm up into the new season, they’re still a good bet to be contending for top of the table honours.

Report by Joel Watson


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Royal Arsenal Early Summer League ’18 Match Report – (Wed June 6th)

Woolwich Arsenal 8 Tag ‘em and Bag ‘em 4

Woolwich Arsenal knew what they had to do to get into the early summer league Championship game next week: win or draw against the best team in the league.

Not an easy job then, but the side captained by Johnny Hoskins rose to the task magnificently.

From the start, Woolwich’s defence was rock solid, not giving an inch against a side who’ve average almost 10 points a game this season.

Jules, Katy and Johnny repeatedly formed an unstoppable wall against a range of attacks.

The attacking effort was good too, with quick passing and darting runs, Woolwich took the lead early in the first half and followed it up with two more tries to make the score 4-1 going into the break.

The pressure ramped up yet again in the second period, with TEBE using methods both foul and fair to try and break through the defensive line.

Luckily WA’s defence remained disciplined in the face of some aggression and over-physicality.

As usual, the pace of Ovie, Errol and Zarine caused plenty of problems for Tag em and Bag em and it wasn’t long before WA racked up six points.

Eventually the pressure told and TEBE started picking up some tries of their own. But they couldn’t manage a girl try and that proved crucial as the score sat at 4-6 going into the final stages.

After withstanding some more attacks, Woolwich put the game to bed, with a spectacular effort from Ashley; withstanding an aggressive wedgie to shovel the ball to Jenny, who darted in for the try, leaving the score at 8-4 and WA in the final next week.

It was a thrilling game from start to finish as Ashley claimed a well-deserved (wo)man of the match and Woolwich Arsenal proved once again that they can mix it up with the best teams in the league


Royal Arsenal 6 Tagalong 18

Royal Arsenal didn’t play so good this week.


By Joel Watson – RARC Member/Player/Club Match Reporter


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Royal Arsenal Early Summer League ’18 Match Report – (Wed May 30th)

Royal Arsenal 7 Tag em and Bag em 10

In one of the more heated games – literally and figuratively – of the league season, Royal Arsenal narrowly lost to league leaders Tag em and Bag em on Wednesday.

RA started strong, taking the early lead with some fast-paced attacks and held up well defensively, despite the heat and humidity that made the game an uphill struggle.

Kyle and George showed off their attacking edge as usual, cutting through the saggy bags (or whatever they’re called) with some nice attacking lines.

TEBE had plenty of attacking flair of their own though, and levelled the score up to 3-3 as the teams trudged off for halftime and well-earned drink.

RA struggled to get going in the second period, and conceded a flurry of tries just after the break, swiftly going down 7-3.

But showing the resilience that’s been the trademark of the team this season, they fought back with scores of their own, including yet another try for Jenny.

The score was 8-7 going into the closing stages of the game before a girl score sealed the win for TEBE and resigned Royal Arsenal to the first competitive loss they’ve had since the second week of the season.

Still, it was a spirited performance from a quickly-improving side, and the Royals are still in contention to be in the championship game by the end of the season.

Woolwich Arsenal 3 – Beasts from the East 1

After a number of misfires against Beasts from both Arsenal sides in recent months, WA finally broke the losing streak against their East London rivals.

Right from the opening whistle, Woolwich were on the front foot, moving the ball along the line easily and taking the lead with loanee Kyle breaking the line and opening the scoring.

Considering the slick attacking on show from WA, it’s surprising they didn’t hit double digit scores in the first half alone.

Ashley, Ovie in Jules continuously troubled the Beasts defence with some bursting runs, and were backed up by an immovable defence that hardly missed a tag all game.

However, despite having the lionshare of the ball and looking better in attack, some marginal fouls and goal-line spills meant WA couldn’t put the game to bed until the final whistle.

Luckily, the defence was even more impressive than the attack and the Beasts never looked likely to get back into the game once they went behind.

The win moves WA into third place in the league and needing just one more point to ensure they’re playing in the championship game in two weeks.


By Joel Watson – RARC Member/Player/Club Match Reporter


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Royal Arsenal Early Summer League ’18 Match Report – (Wed May 23rd)

Royal Arsenal 9 Steve Thorpe’s Destoyers 7

Royal Arsenal found the cure for aggressive STDs in the early fixture, taking control of the game quickly with a pair of tries and a rock solid defence.

The early lead could easily have been higher if not for a few marginal fending penalties that killed off some promising drives.

But the Destroyers attacked with plenty of aggression themselves, quickly levelling up the scores at 2-2 after 10 minutes.

Jenny, fresh from a high scoring performance the week before, put the Royals back in control with a fine burst through the middle, leaving two defenders for dead.

And with half-time approaching, Arsenal looked set to hold onto the lead, before a handful of defensive miscues meant the STDs managed to run in two more tries and the period ended at 4-4.

It took Arsenal a bit of time to find their feet in the second half. Defensive disorganisation meant the Destroyers managed to gain the advantage in an end-to-end contest, despite Kyle’s best attacking efforts.

But with the game on the line, Arsenal finally put the foot on the gas and took control. The defence re-emerged as an impenetrable unit, refusing to budge with their backs to the wall, and with George, Alistair and Andrew charging at the STDs, it was only a matter of time before Arsenal regained the lead.

In the dying seconds, the Royals went ahead for good, Kyle once again proving too hot to handle, and the defence iced the game with some more solid work, earning a well-deserved victory.

Kyle won man of the match honours, although the whole team deserves enormous credit for holding up under pressure, particularly some stunning tagging from Abbey, Rhianna, and Ann.


Woolwich Arsenal 14 Kool and the Gang 9

Woolwich Arsenal had a tough act to follow after seeing Royal Arsenal scrape over the line in a dramatic game.


But they easily lived up to their billing as the second highest-scoring team in the league in the late fixture.

The rugby was a joy to watch as Woolwich sliced through the Gang’s defence over and over again, Jules linking well with Ashley for a handful of scores and Ovie giving defenders fits all game.

Johnny and Katie got in on the try-fest, and in truth, the game was over as a contest by half time with Kool and the Gang trailing by a huge margin.

The opposition fought back bravely in the second period, but it wasn’t enough to overturn the first half deficit and Woolwich ran out comfortable winners in an entertaining contest.

Jules deservedly claimed the man of the match award for a sterling mix of attacking and defensive play.

Now Woolwich go into the final two weeks of the season real contenders to trouble the top of the table if they can follow this game up with some more good performances.


By Joel Watson – RARC Member/Player/Club Match Reporter

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Next Fixture May 30th HERE

Full Fixture For Rest Of Early Summer League 2018