'Deep South' Tour to America - Nashville, Memphis & New Orleans
The Royal Engineers are back in the United States of America for their 2019 Tour. First up the team arrived in Nashville, Tennessee. Based in the City Centre, the team have been exploring the City and local surroundings. After arriving late on Friday the team had a run out on Saturday prior to their first game.
Sunday afternoon saw the Sappers take to the field for their first game against Nashville RFC. Head Coach Nathan Young had a strong squad at his disposal for the Tour and they started strong scoring a Try in the opening few minutes of the game. The visitors responded well though and proved to be a stern opponent for much of the first half. The tourists were playing some nice rugby but were frustrated with some errors that kept the hosts in touch at half time.
The strength of the Sapper team and depth coming on from the bench made a difference in the second half as the tourists pulled away with a plethora of Tries in the second period playing some fantastic rugby, holding Nashville scoreless and stretching their lead to 88-5 by the final whistle.
We would like to thank Nashville RFC for their hospitality during and after the game, we enjoyed the game and your company!
HIGHLIGHTS VS NASHVILLE -
Monday saw the Sappers take in some more local sights with a Stadium Tour of the Tennessee Titans NFL Stadium - a great insight behind the scenes of the facility. Monday afternoon then saw the Sappers travel to the Jack Daniels distillery to take a Tour and tasting session!
Tuesday is a travel day as the team move down to Memphis for their second game on Wednesday.
Wednesday evening saw the Sappers take on Memphis University RFC in their second Tour match, under floodlights. The heat had definitely increased since arriving in Memphis and after a good afternoon which saw some players and coaches take part in a community engagement session with local youths, the Senior XV took to the field for kick off. Memphis RFC proved a tougher game than their previous opponent and the Sappers went into the break tied up at 7-7. Following words from Head Coach, Nathan Young, the Sappers returned from half time with a spring in their step and scored in the opening minutes to regain the lead and gradually pulled away form their opponent with two further Try's, with the Final score 22-10.
HIGHLIGHTS VS MEMPHIS -
After a short stop in Memphis, the Sappers then headed South to New Orleans, Louisiana. It was a long drive down but the tourist arrived late on Thursday evening after which we said goodbye to our excellent Coach Driver, Lucious who took care of us since day 1 - many thanks for the great service!
Friday saw the team take in a final training session in the morning before a brilliant Swamp Tour in the afternoon around the lakes and Swamps of New Orleans - lots of 'Gators on show for the team to see!
Gameday soon approached and the Sappers were ready for their final battle on Tour vs NOLA 2s. The game kicked off at 1030 to try and avoid the high temperatures of the afternoon - although conditions were still very tough for both sides in the heat! The visitors started well and scored the opening Try, however were pinged back straight away after the hosts scored within a few minutes. Their lead was increased with a further two tries before the Sappers responded with a score. A Penalty and another Try saw the Sappers regain the lead as the teams went into half time.
NOLA started the second period well and kicked a Penalty before the Sappers crossed the Try line once more after a nice line break from Stevenson. In an exciting second period, the hosts piled on the pressure to try and retake the lead and scored late on, however it wasn't enough to secure victory as the Royal Engineers took the win, 31-29 and completed their hat-trick of victories on Tour!
HIGHLIGHTS VS NOLA 2s - https://youtu.be/ydDdqEfu7lo
We would like to thank NOLA for their hospitality during the day and their excellent tailgate post match - we enjoyed watching the NOLA vs Houston MLR game in the afternoon as well!
Thanks you also to our Sponsors, HESCO BASTION for your generous sponsorship as well as MSG TOURS for the fantastic 10 days and organising our schedule in three fantastic locations in the Deep South!