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Royal Marines Rugby League Season 2017

26/07/2017

2017 has been a difficult season for the RMRL due to lack of player and coach availability, unexpected activity, and opposition fixture changes.  However, the management team has worked tirelessly to produce meaningful fixtures and provide solid training camps to ensure the season was successful in terms of the number of games played.

Wigan Bowl The season started with the annual Corps Championships, the Wigan Bowl.  This involved 6 teams and saw some exciting, fast-paced Rugby, with a combined CTCRM/30 Cdo IX team defeating 42 Cdo in the final.

Royal Artillery 24 – RMRL 18 – Sebastopol Cup Due to the lack of available players this fixture was played in a 9’s format instead of the normal 13 man game.  The Artillery turned up with a strong 18 man squad whilst the RMRL only had a scratch 10 man squad, with some of these players never having played Rugby League before.  Although the Artillery defeated the RMRL by 6 points the RMRL individuals put up a good physical showing in wet conditions.

Royal Navy 32 – RMRL 20 A lack of available players meant that teams were merged with the RNRL so that this fixture could go ahead on the 20th Anniversary of Royal Navy Rugby League.  The game was played in tremendous spirit and the RM players learned a great deal from playing with and against the RNRL.

Wigan St Patricks 14 - RMRL 10 This memorial fixture is played every year in Wigan for two former RMs who were killed in Afghanistan, Sgt Darbyshire and LCpl Elms.  This was the first fixture of the season where the RMRL had a healthy squad of 17. This meant that the Corps was able to field a strong side.  The conditions on the day were terrible, with torrential rain falling for the full 80 minutes of the game.  The RMRL made a few too many mistakes and this unfortunately cost them the fixture.

RMRL 30 vs Army Academy 18 – Birdsall Bowl The Birdsall Bowl is a new trophy that will be competed for each season between the RMRL and Army Academy RL.  This fixture will take place every Armed Forces weekend as part of the celebration of Military Rugby League in Warrington. The trophy was named after Mne Steven Birdsall who was KIA in Afghanistan in 2010 and was local to the Warrington area.

The RMRL fielded a strong side against an Army Academy team which has not lost in recent years.  The Army took a commanding lead but the determination and will to win saw the momentum swing in the Corps’ favour which meant they came back with a late win.

RMRL 18 vs 30 Parachute Regiment – Trafalgar Cup Having not lost to the Paras for 5 years, the RMRL took a strong team to play in Colchester.  The hosts started quickly, racking up a 16 point lead in the first 20 minutes.  The pace and physicality with which the game was played was, as always, impressive.  The Corps had plenty of possession but was unable to capitalise on this, and the Paras were routinely able to play their way out of defence with good breaks in the backs and solid kicking by their half backs and full back.  The second half was more even, but despite a couple of late tries, the Corps was unable to secure the win.  Bring on next year……