HMS Lancaster 0 v Bermuda Police XV 22
On Sunday 9th June HMS Lancaster RFC left the ship to play our opening game of ATP (N). In true ships rugby fashion we arrived with 17 players but full of confidence. It was clear during the warm up that the opposition was made up of more than just some veteran police officers who haven't played rugby for a few years.
The referee was unable to turn up due to an engagement with a golf course so the superintendent of the Bermudian police force gladly agreed to not play, but to officiate. As kick off drew closer a few ships supporters turned up in high spirits which is always a massive boost, and appreciated. With the traditional under the posts team photo completed we had our pre game huddle and prepared to kick off.
With the game format altered to 3 thirds of 20 minutes we knew that the pace would be intense so a good start would be crucial. Bermuda tested our defence several times early on, it became clear they intended to run us ragged and pull us over the park. However our defence was fierce and forced several knock ons from the opposition. Both forwards and backs stepped up and tackled hard. Holding on to the ball was crucial and we managed to pressure and missed an opportunity to take the lead. After 30 minutes of rugby which marked half way the score was still 0-0.
Bermuda started to take advantage of the substitute's bench and as we tired they took full advantage with some good backs moves. In contrast we seemed to be running out of players as a fast paced, physical game started to take its toll on the team. At full time the score read 22-0. This was a good result considering after the game we discovered we had played against the Bermudian under 19 national team, which had one policeman playing and another refereeing.
The post match social was enjoyed by the team and supporters, and the foundations are there for some more good matches on this deployment.
The man of the match was shared between Lt Mcalpine and CH Mallon for some fantastic covering defence and hard work in attack. ‘It was great to play against a strong side like this, and we held on our own for most of the game, however the Heat and fitness took its toll, roll on the next game' said team captain LSC Smit.