HMS Bulwark RFC v Bahrain RFC
HMS Bulwark RFC
A large turnout from the Bulwark RFC and supporters saw 50 members of the ships company visit Bahrain RFC to see if Bulwark could continue in their winning ways. The squad knew this would be a step up in standard from the games played on the trip thus far. With Bahrain putting out a strong side in preparation for a league match the following week, and a large crowd of spectators cheering on, the match kicked off at 7.30 pm in the usual Gulf format of 20 min quarters, with rolling subs allowed.
Bahrain kicked off but the ball did not travel 10m and was taken back for a Bulwark scrum. Despite having the put in, the bigger and more cohesive Bahrain pack pushed Bulwark off the ball in a pattern that was to be repeated throughout the game. From the turnover ball Bahrain pressed forward, but with hits coming in from the committed Bulwark players, there was no forward momentum and Bahrain was forced to kick over the flat defence, with the ball going dead. From the scrum back, the Bulwark pack was pushed off the ball again and Bahrain worked the ball up field, but hard defence forced Bahrain into touch. Bulwarks throw-in was lost (showing a lack of match practice and training in that area) and Bahrain forced their way forward. By now most of the quarter had been played in the Bulwark half, and a lot in the 22, when finally the defence was broken down. Bahrain scored an unconverted try in the corner (5-0). With sound advice coming from POPT Danny Johnson, Bulwark picked up the pace of the game and despite getting no 1st phase position, managed to work the ball up field to threaten the Bahrain line. With only ruck ball giving forward momentum, any breakdown in play meant a loss of field position and Bulwark was on the back foot again and defending hard.
The 2nd quarter started from a lineout near to the Bulwark try line and from the maul Bahrain scored a converted try (12-0). From the kick off Bulwark finally got some long term possession and started to build some phases, with the Bulwark backs looking dangerous with the ball in hand. Nevertheless, despite the best efforts of the pack, the better drilled Bahrain forwards could always rely on winning back the ball from lineout’s and scrums. The Bulwark forwards were having more success in the loose and created some good ball that the backs used well, however the Bahrain defence of was also working hard and Bulwark could not cross the line. When ET (WE) Eldon Myers was sin binned for an infringement at a ruck Bahrain took advantage of the extra man and scored just before half time (19-0).
2nd Half (3rd Q).
Despite being 3 tries down the Bulwark squad did not change ends downhearted, knowing they had the power in the backs to create and score tries. With the team back up to full strength, and Eldon Myers back on, Bulwark knew they had to play the game in a looser style to retain possession and prevent the Bahrain forwards utilising their better pack in the close quarters play. Working the ball up field in short driving rucks, the ball was knocked on close to the Bahrain line and quickly driven downfield into the Bulwark 22. The defence finally stopped this play and Eldon Myers caught an interception and ran from the 22 to score a try under the posts, converted by AB(WS) Meg Ryan (19-7). Again Bahrain came at Bulwark. Hard tackling by both forwards and backs stopped the Bahrain attacks, finally making them knock the ball on close to the Bulwark line. Bulwarks pack was again driven off the ball and the No. 8 picked up and despite being held up by LSC Mr B Bainitabua and LET (ME) Stan Matthews the ball was recycled for Bahrain to score a converted try (26-7). The rest of the quarter remained a hard fought defensive affair for Bulwark.
Knowing their better drilled forwards could almost always be relied upon to win the ball in either the lineout or scrum, Bahrain kicked confidently for the corners to keep Bulwark pinned back in their own half. Bahrain worked their way up field and scored a converted try early in the 4th quarter (33-7). However Bulwark would not give up, giving the ball to the backs to make inroads into the Bahrain defence. A mention here must go out to SC Flash Fasuba, coming on for his first ever game and who’s pace will be to any teams advantage once he gets the ball in hand. Working the ball up field again the forwards made a gap on the right side for ET (WE) Savs Savage to grubber kick a ball through. With Lt Dave Wilcocks tearing after it and the Bahrain defence broken at last, the ball was held up inches short of the line, but good clearing out at the ruck re-cycled the ball and it was taken to the right touchline. With a breakdown occurring, the Referee judged Bahrain offside near the posts and with quick thinking, ET (ME) Jay Samuel took a quick tap and scored, which was converted by AB (WS) Knocker White. With no more scores coming in the final minutes, the score remained (33-14).
Bulwark’s MoM was CPL Fordy Ford, who despite having a hard shift in the front row put in some impressive work around the park and was the only player to last the full 80 minutes. A thank you goes out to Bahrain RFC for a great match and hosting the team well and to the Referee who allowed the play to flow. Overall one of the hardest games Bulwark has been involved in and despite the loss we know that with a bit of work we can get better.
CSGT COOBES (Rep: CPOMEM(M) WALMSLEY), MNE GOODALL(Rep: LET (ME) EVANS),CPL FORD, CPOET (ME) FORD (Rep: LTCDR NICOLLS) ,CPL GILLINGS ( Rep: CAPT ATKINSON RM) , LET (ME) MATTHEWS, ET(ME) BALL (Rep: MNE YOUNG),LSC BAINATABUA (Rep: POET (ME) HUNT), ET (ME) SAMUEL(Rep: AB RYAN), ET (WE) MYERS (Rep: ET (WE) SAVAGE), POPT JOHNSON (Rep: POET (ME) HEWINS), MNE KOVULA (Rep : CPL CLARK), MNE DRIVER (Rep: MNE SHAW), AB (WS) WHITE (Rep: SC FASUBA), AB (WS) COBBETT (Rep: LT WILCOCKS)
REP: LTCDR NICOLLS, LET (ME) EVANS, CMEM (M) WALMSLEY, CAPT ATKINSON RM, MNE YOUNG, MNE SHAW, ET (WE) SAVAGE, POET (ME) HEWINS, POET (ME) HUNT, AB RYAN, CPL CLARK, SC FASUBA & LT WILCOCKS
This match is part of the ‘You Play We Pay’ initiative.