Off the back of convincing win over the GB Police in Round 1, the UKAF men were aiming to secure a Round 2 victory over the GB Teachers. This would take it to the final round to decide who would take away the 2019 Presidents Cup.
That aim became reality as the military men ran away with 22 un-answered points. They shrugged off all the Teachers attempts to infiltrate the defensive line during tough conditions in Siddal. Hunting as a pack, shoulder to shoulder they dug out blind to the bitter end.
Danny Johnson (Navy) UKAF Head Coach had this to say: "The players have worked hard over two training camps, particularly on defence. Keeping the Teachers off the scoreboard is very pleasing and credit to their hard work”.
It didn’t take long for an error to come from the Teachers as a poor kick through dropped perfectly for UKAF Full Back Kieron Roche (Army), a quick turn of pace and slick steps, Roche ran clean through from his own 40 metre line to bag himself a try under the sticks. Lennox Green (Navy) added the extras with a clean strike from 15 yards out.
The next 25 mins of the first half was a show of force from both teams as they locked into that arm wrestle, but neither side would back down. The handling errors started to mount from both teams as the weather was not giving in, but it was the military men that struck again after 28 mins when they pinned the Teachers down behind their line with a repeat set. The kick out from under the sticks looked like it would find touch until rugby league debutant, Eldon Myers (Navy) collected the ball cleanly and powered through the Teachers defence to score out wide. Lennox Green (Navy) again adding the extras with a precise kick.
Half time UKAFRL 12 – 0 GB Teachers
The conditions eased off as the second half whistle went. But it wasn’t long until a combination of slick passing, attackers running good lines and a precision nudge through turn the Teachers, Micky Hoyle was quickest to react as he blasted through to ground the ball in the corner. Lennox Green`s conversion attempt missed from a difficult position. 16-0 after 4 mins gone in the 2nd.
Much like the 1st, an arm wrestle ensued as both teams attempted to showcase their skill, during that period of play the Teachers were reduced to 12 men after a swinging arm in the tackle put one in the bin. UKAF piled on the pressure during the 10 min sin bin, but the Teachers withstood a continued bombardment of heavy artillery as Forwards, Sam Coleman (Army), Ben Mellor (RAF), Danny Johnson (Navy), Ryan Watkin (Army) and Jonny Griffiths (Navy) hammered at the line. It wasn’t long after they were back up to 13, the Teachers line had no choice but to break when Jonny Griffiths (Navy) crashed through from 8 yards out. Lennox Green slotting home the extras once again.
Fulltime whistle blows and the score was set at 22 nil to the UKAF lads. The UKAF Captain Jordan Kerman (Army) had this to say after the final whistle: “It was an honour to skipper to victory tonight. It was a really physical game in tough conditions. Our defence was ruthless which you can see in the score line. We have some work ons in attack, but we will come into camp again in a few weeks and hit the ground running before we take on the England Universities”.
UKAF Head Coach Danny Johnson stated: “We must now focus on our preparation for the England Universities who are historically the best team in the competition. The players have set the goal of winning the Presidents Cup in 2019, and that means we must win against the Universities”.
Who are you backing to lift the Cup on the 5th Jun in Sheffield?
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