HMS Dragon v Gibraltar Regiment
DRAGON’s inaugural deployment match was played at RAF Gibraltar against a mixed military and civilian team, with many of their players having recently returned from international duties. In the shadow of the rock, the match kicked off late in the evening with a good crowd of spectators.
DRAGON were immediately on the attack, turning over the receiver due to excellent play by the back row. The ball was quickly recycled and the backs, led by flyhalf AB(WS) Bamford, played the ball comfortably through the hands. Winger ET(WE) Jones jinked past his opposite number and broke down the line before firing an inside pass to fullback ET(ME)Gibbons who glided over the line.
This initial opening of play set the tone for the rest of the match. DRAGON remained dominant for the first half, running in no fewer than 9 tries, including three from centre LCpl John. Gibraltar were unable to make an impact on the strong DRAGON defensive line, with the back row of RPO Michiou, LPT Quinn and AB(SEA) Johnstone smashing all attacks back over the gain line.
In the second half, DRAGON made several changes, allowing newer and less experienced players to prove their worth. This meant DRAGON’s tempo dropped, and two tries were conceded in short order. The newer players responded well, answering in kind with tries from AB(WS)Gurnell and PO(CS)Hughes. This continued for the rest of the second half, before the final whistle was blown. DRAGON had proved their dominance and set the tone for the rest of the deployment.