Royal Marines Rugby League v Army Academy - Armed Forces Day, Warrington 30 Jun 2018
By Keith Humpleby
RMRL Triumph At Crosfields
Following a 3-day training camp at CTCRM and in Warrington, the RMRL squad warmed up for the annual Armed Forces’ Day match against Warrington by watching Warrington Wolves beat Salford Red Devils at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. An Armed Forces Day special, the match ball was delivered by the Red Devils parachute display team with artillery pieces waking up the crowd before the match. In addition, the Armed Forces Covenant was signed at half time, with RMRL signing on behalf of the Naval Service.
Armed Forces Day itself was hosted by Crosfields ARLFC; the Corps squad lined up alongside their Army Academy opponents on a hot afternoon on a dusty ground resembling an Australian NRL pitch, and with a breeze swirling the smoke from another set of cannons prior to kick off.
The breeze was more significant than it seemed, as became apparent when the Army kicked off, sending the ball into touch and giving them an early set of six in the RM 20 metre area - the men in red and black found the try line on the third tackle, and looked to be on the charge, scoring a second within ten minutes. However, the Corps found its feet after receiving the third kick off and began to grind the Army Academy down, crossing their opponents’ line twice before the break. The second half saw the RM press their advantage, keeping the Army pinned in their own half for most of the remainder of the match. The Corps team was better able to keep its shape and discipline, and ran out comfortable winners at 40-12. The victory was a genuine team effort, with skipper Mne Danny Heaton controlling the game solidly from hooker.
Overall, the camp and match was highly successful, and placed the RMRL in an excellent position to start the week-long training camp for the Trafalgar Cup against the Parachute Regiment on the 11th July.