Updated: Oct 5, 2018
England Universities are the 2018 Presidents Cup winners with a 40-22 win over the UK Armed Forces in Rochdale.
UKAF had fought back from being 18 -0 down after 15 mins to tie the game at 18-all early in the second half, mistakes allowed the students to build pressure which resulted in a series of tries to take the game away from the forces men.
After the 3 early tries from the opposition, Pte Micky Hoyle (6 Regt RLC) crossed the line with a well worked Try down the right, Cfn Jamie Laing (1 Royal Welsh) adding the extras with a clinical conversion from out wide. This spurred on the UKAF men to stage a comeback, ET Josh Coupland (HMS Bulwark) splitting the defence to go in under the sticks with 9 mins left in the first half. Cfn Laing adding with a simple conversion.
Coming out for the second 18-12 down the forces men kept the pressure on with a well worked try down the right from SAC(T) Adam Flintham (27 Sqn), chasing down his own kick and another success from the Tee for Laing evened the score at 18-all.
A simple mistake from the restart allowed the opposition to capitalise and go in out on the flank and take the score to 24-18. A brutal arm wrestle ensued for the rest of the game. Adding to the UKAF tally with a clinical try LH Luke Cooper (RNAS Yeovilton) ran in unhindered.
Going into the final quarter and the England Universities leading 24-22, the Forces men allowed in a series of tries and 16 unanswered points to take the game to 40-22.
Having only played 2 of the 3 fixtures planned within the Cup, the UKAF side would have to beat the students by 24 points on the day. Unfortunately for UKAF this wasn’t to be.
Congratulations and a huge well done to England Universities as they were crowned Presidents Cup 2018 winners after the final whistle. The Cup was presented to them by the President of the RFL -Air Cmde Dean Andrew.
This ends the UK Armed Forces Rugby League 2018 playing season but with work in the background still on going, the Executive Committee have started planning for the next Armed Forces World Cup which takes place in the UK in 2021.