2021/22 Season 'Return to Rugby'
Corps Festival - 15th September Aldershot 2021
The Royal Engineers returned to action in the Army Corps Festival in Aldershot on 15th September. The Sappers, lead by new Head Coach Gerhard Wessels consisted of a lot of new and young faces as they took on the Royal Artillery, RLC and REME in League 1. After a close fought 5-5 draw with the Gunners, two losses against the RLC and REME meant that there would be no Final appearance but Wessels and his coaching team had a good look at new players who will make up the squad going forward into the Season. A short highlights package is available on the Home Page.
Army Rugby Union Corps Festival
Games This Season
Army Corps Festival
ALDERSHOT - 15th SEPTEMBER 21
Royal Engineers vs RLC W 9-8
MEDWAY RFC - 29th SEPTEMBER 21
Royal Engineers @ REME W 25-20
RWB RFC - 20th OCTOBER 21
Royal Engineers vs Royal Artillery L 12-21
MEDWAY RFC - 3 NOVEMBER 21
Royal Engineers @ RLC W 23-10
CHICHESTER - 1st DECEMBER 21
Royal Engineers vs REME W 20-17
MEDWAY RFC - 12 JANUARY 22
Royal Engineers @ Royal Artillery
LARKHILL - 2 FEBRUARY 22 W 18-12
Army Corps Final Day
ALDERSHOT - 18 MAY 22 W 23-12
Royal Engineers vs RLC
Army Corps League 1 - Game 1
The Royal Engineers opened the 2021/22 Corps Rugby campaign with a tight 9-8 victory over the Royal Logistic Corps.
The RLC, coming off the back of their victory at the recent Corps Competition had the wind with them in the first half and opened the scoring with a nice Try worked from the back of an attacking scrum.
Some excellent place kicking from Sapper Fly Half, Spr Johnson put the hosts ahead at half time, 6-5.
In a tight affair, both sides added a penalty each in the second half, taking the score to 9-8 to the Sappers which is how things ended.
Highlights are available via the Home Page, many thanks to the RLC for another great contest and thank you as well to Medway RFC for their fantastic hospitality!
Royal Engineers at REME
Army Corps League 1 - Game 2
Round two of the Army Rugby Union Corps League 1 competition saw the Royal Engineers travel to Wootton Bassett to take on the REME.
Both sides were victorious in the previous round, with the REME picking up a win away against the Gunners and would prove a tough opponent at home.
Conditions had improved after heavy overnight rain however a strong breeze would make life difficult for both sides to contend with.
The REME started the game with a good spell and soon opened the scoring with a penalty kick. The Sappers responded well and came back with the games first Try, a nice finish from Winger Phil Graham in open space following an attacking scrum. After keeping up pressure, the visitors crossed again. A quickly taken penalty from Mike McDonald created an opportunity to attack, breaking through the defensive line leading to Second Row, Kurtis Booth touching down on the Try line.
The REME responded with a good Try of their own, testing the Sapper defence and eventually finding a way through. The Sappers added a Penalty and a further Try before half time with a nicely worked move down the touchline - Spr Louwalu finishing off a great move to score.
Following the break, the hosts came back with an early Try to close the gap. However, an excellent Penalty kick around halfway from the boot of RE 10, Jack Johnson extended the Sapper lead back to ten points.
It was a nail biting finish as the REME mounted huge pressure on the Sapper defence, but as time wound down the line held, despite giving away numerous penalties the Sappers kept their opponents at bay until the final moments when the hosts eventually crossed the Try line once more.
The final whistle brought an end to another excellent contest between these two sides, the Engineers holding on to take the win, 25-20 with some excellent defence towards the end of the match to hold off an impressive REME attack.
Attention now turns to Round three as the Sappers host the Royal Artillery at Medway RFC on Wed 3rd November. It's sure to be another great chapter in the Sapper vs Gunner story! We hope to see you down there!
Royal Engineers vs Royal Artillery
Army Corps League 1 - Game 3
The third round of the Army Corps League 1 contest saw the Sappers host their oldest rival, the Royal Artillery in another hotly anticipated match up.
It was an edgy contest with both sides putting together strong passages of play in the first half but it was the Gunners who struck first to score the only points in the first half, capitalising from a Sapper knock on to gather and run in for a Try.
The Sappers replied early in the second half with a Try of their own, however the Gunners kept the scoreline ticking over with good place kicking to keep themselves out in front.
Another Sapper turnover lead to a Gunner Try to seemingly put the game beyond reach for the home side. To their credit, the Sappers kept persisting and added a final score with the last play of the game - a neatly worked Try finished well in the corner to bring the score to 12-21.
Despite their first loss, the Sappers will take the work-ons and look ahead to their final match of 2021, away to the Royal Logistic Corps.
It's sure to be a good match up following a close fought game earlier in the season!
Royal Engineers at RLC
Army Corps League 1 - Game 4
The final round of the Army Rugby Union Corps League 1 saw the Royal Engineers travel to Cirencester to take on the Royal Logistic Corps. The first fixture between these two ended 9-8 to the Sappers, so the return fixture was sure to be another close affair.
Both sides showed some early promise and exchanged penalties as they set out to exploit the others defence. The Sappers edged in front again thanks to the boot of Fly Half, Jack Johnson before adding the games first Try courtesy of Number 8, Spr Cakau - scoring a nice move from a line out, five metres from the RLC line.
The Sappers enjoyed a good spell to close out the first half and after another penalty extended their lead, 16-3.
Early in the second period, Johnson lined up another penalty kick attempt close to halfway. The kick fell just short and bounced back off the right post, however a great chase from Sapper #7 Tabuatamata allowed him to gather and dive over for the score, 23-3.
The RLC kept grinding away and scored a nice try, breaking away down the wing for a good score to close the gap, 23-10. Despite a strong finish, the Sappers held firm in defence to close out the game and take the victory - a good end to 2021 for Head Coach Gerhard Wessels and his team.
We wish you all a safe and Happy Christmas and look forward to seeing the Sappers return in January 2022 as they host the REME at Medway RFC.
Royal Engineers vs REME
Army Corps League 1 - Game 5
The opening game of 2022 saw the Sappers play host to the REME in the penultimate round of the Army Corps Championship. The Sappers picked up a close fought victory in the first meeting at Royal Wootton Bassett and it was to be a similar encounter second time around.
The Sappers built up a good lead after absorbing significant pressure from the REME - Fly Half Jack Johnson kicked a Penalty and then added the game's first Try and converted to give the hosts a 10-0 lead.
The REME created some good opportunities however the Engineers were able to add another Penalty right on Half Time to give them a 13-0 lead at the break.
That lead was extended further when Scrum Half took a quick penalty to snipe and score from close range, to bring the score to 20-0.
The REME then mounted a brilliant comeback and set about closing the gap. They did so straight away through a Penalty kick, converted to bring the score to 20-3.
The visitors spent a significant amount of time camped inside the Sapper half. They eventually broke through and added their first Try of the game to set up a tense ending for the hosts, 20-10.
There was just enough time for the REME to add one final score in the dying moments of the game, 20-17 and bringing to an end another great battle between the two sides.
Highlights are now available on YouTube, or via the Homepage.
The Sappers now focus on their final match of the Season against the Royal Artillery at Larkhill, 2nd February. We hope to see you there!
Royal Engineers at Royal Artillery
Army Corps League 1 - Game 6
In another classic battle, the Sapper and Gunners met for the second time this season in the final round of the Corps Regular Season. It was a tense affair right from the start, both sides fought hard and it was the hosts who opened the scoring thanks to a great break from their Scrum Half to open up the defence and allow the Guns to cross for a Try.
As half time approached the Sappers came back and levelled with a Try from Back Row, Vee Veikune, which was converted, 5-7.
The Sappers added two penalties in the second half from the boot of Fly Half, Jack Johnson - either side of a Gunner Try leaving the visitors with a one point lead, 12-13.
It was a tense affair in the final moments of the game but the Sappers pulled off a great Try with a nice kick in behind the defence from Tom O'Rourke - chased up by Johnson who beat the defender to touch down for the score, 12-18.
Despite an edgy final few minutes, including a yellow card for each side, the Sappers held on for a fantastic victory to take home the Cannonball Trophy for the first time since Darrell Ball lifted it in Chatham in 2015!
IMAGES CREDIT - CORPS OF ROYAL ENGINEERS - ALEX HOOD