The post match photo after the game against the New York Athletic Club
to Tpr Moorby who toiled away in the front row at numerous set pieces and carried the ball hard in open play. The following day gave a very bruised and sore group of players the chance to explore the city of Boston before a night at Fenway Park to see the famous Boston Red Sox play baseball. The game itself proved to be pretty dull even for the surrounding native fans that actually understood what was going on, with Boston eventually losing 1-0 after 9 innings. The lack of action on the field did however make the crowd far more sociable and made for a fun evening. Amongst enjoying the rest of the local delights, the squad spent most of their remaining time in Boston training hard under the auspices of our resident PTI, LCpl Ford, to ensure they were in best possible shape going into our second game against New York Athletic Club (NYAC). Having travelled to Princeton the previous day, the squad arrived in the picturesque surroundings of NYAC ready to develop on the progress made against Mystic River RFC. However, the team did not start as well as the previous game and finished the first half behind, having let in a couple of soft tries. As a result of the changes made at half-time the team came out strong in the second half and forced the opposition to bring back some of their top players late in the game to ensure victory. The final score was 42-24 to NYAC, it proved a frustrating game for the squad as we knew our slow start had ultimately let us down, despite this the squad was starting to gel and individually there were some strong performances, especially Man of the Match Tpr Clarke who guided the team well at fly half and defended hard throughout the game. Having enjoyed the local hospitality that the University town of Princeton had to offer, the squad made the short journey up to New York for the final leg of the tour. On arrival in the ‘Big Apple’ the team watched the New York Giants take on the New Orleans Saints in the NFL and although the game wasn’t the ‘high
CoH Sabatini and CoH Qio enjoying the atmosphere at MetLife Stadium, watching the NY Giants take on the NO Saints
scoring quarterback showdown’ we had been promised, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Following a training and rest day in the concrete jungle, we travelled away from the skyscrapers to the north of Manhattan to play our final civilian match against Old Blue Rugby Club. Owing to transport issues the match started three hours late and so after a flicker of a warm-up, the match started like the two previous ones with the HCRFC under immediate pressure. Unlike previous games, however, the defensive line managed to hold up and a thrilling game resulted in a narrow 10-5 loss. Despite the defeat the team had built on the previous performances and on another day could have won. Tpr O’Mara was a very deserving Man of the Match for his consistent stoic defence and penetrating attacking play at open-side flanker.
West Point Academy development side. Despite leading for most of the game, having had three games in the previous eight days, the squad could not continue with the same intensity for the final 20 minutes and West Point took the lead, the squad did not give up the fight though and attacked hard for the final play of the game knowing that a try would seal a much eluded victory. However a knock-on gave West Point a break away try and a final score of 41-29. The after match meal gave the squad a chance to socialise with some of the US cadets and proved a nice end to a day which for many on the tour was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Man of the match for this game was Tpr Bird, who put in a dominant performance in the front row over his opposite number and set the platform for the rest of the squad to perform.
The following day saw the team assemble at the 9/11 memorial site in downtown Manhattan. Given the events of the previous days in Manhattan the memorial was that bit more poignant and the squad left the site of the World Trade Centers in a sombre and reflective mood. The final day on tour saw the squad head to upstate New York and the US Military Academy at Westpoint. On a stunning fall day the squad was treated to a tour of the Academy and their impressive rugby facilities. This was followed by a game against a
Although the results did not go the way the planning group had intended, the tour was designed to play competitive rugby and develop the team in anticipation of the upcoming season. It certainly achieved that and all members of the squad wore the Household Cavalry jersey with pride and were a credit to the Regiment and the Army. This tour, though, would not have been possible without the support from the HCF, the Associations and the both regimental chains of command, earning the gratitude of all tour members.
The whole Squad enjoying the pleasant views from the US Military Academy at West Point
80 ■ Household Cavalry Sports Round-up