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The RFL

26 May 2022

UK Armed Forces win Presidents Cup

UK Armed Forces win Presidents Cup

GB Teachers 32 GB Police 40

The final round of the Men's Presidents Cup 2022 saw the Police emerge with their second win of the tournament after a high-scoring 40-32 success over GB Teachers.

The Teachers made a great start to the game and led 10-0 after just 7 minutes thanks to a quickfire double from second row Josh Hamilton. He swept through to collect a kick for his first, then made the most of halfback Rob Marsh's incisive play. With Marsh converting the first try, the Teachers looked in control before some excellent dummy half work from Ben Dawson paved the way for a dashing try after eleven minutes with Scott Leatherbarrow hitting the first of six goals.

The Teachers crossed for their third try in the fifteenth minute when Cumbrian winger Phil Lister finished a thirty-metre sprint to the line, but were disrupted when starting centres Andrew Coleman and Nathan Lyon were both forced from the field with injury inside the first quarter.

Sensing their opportunity, the Police and Scott Leatherbarrow set about their task and second-row Jason Unsworth was main beneficiary with Leatherbarrow's goal making it 14-12. Once more before the half-hour, the Teachers were rewarded when fullback Lewis Fairhurst sped in, following a run by Matthew Ellis and Marsh converted for a 20-12 advantage.

Former Oxford professional Andy Hoggins hauled the Police back within two points with a converted try after 32 minutes and just before half-time, the ever-alert Dawson scored following some excellent running by fullback Jay Panter. Leatherbarrow's fourth goal ensured the Police led 24-20 at half-time.

GB Teachers made another good start to the second half and went in front again after just two minutes when Fairhurst scored his second and Marsh put his third goal over. Just two minutes later, the Police restored parity when Will Martin hulked his way over from close range and two further back-to-back tries from Gareth Jones, off Jimmy Motum's kick, and a powerful Ryan Pickles, suddenly had the Police in a comfortable position.

The Teachers gamely battled and kept themselves in the contest when Fairhurst pushed up on Jay Boyd's offload for his third try and Marsh added his fourth goal, but it was GB Police who picked up the win in the end.

GB Teachers: Lewis Fairhurst, Josh Brown, Andrew Coleman, Nathan Lyon, Phil Lister, Jay Boyd, Rob Marsh; Elliot Liku, Rob Pritchard, Michael Walton, Josh Hamilton, James Jackson, Jack Walton. Subs: Matthew Ellis, Chris Lane, Lewis Barwise, Kev Marshall, Ben Pulleyn, Will Taylor, Jack Stocks.

Tries: Josh Hamilton 2, Phil Lister, Lewis Fairhurst 3.
Goals: Rob Marsh 4/6.

GB Police: Jay Panter, Ryan Pickles, Andy Hoggins, John O'Donnell, Gareth Jones, Scott Leatherbarrow, Alex Clemie; Jordan Cella, Ben Dawson, Steve Tagg, Jason Unsworth, Lewis Peet, Ben Marsdan. Subs: Jimmy Motum, Will Martin, Ash Wildman, Jack Morrison, Sam Ogden.

Tries: John O'Donnell, Jason Unsworth, Andy Hoggins, Ben Dawson, Will Martin, Gareth Jones, Ryan Pickles.
Goals: Leatherbarrow 6/7.

Half-time: 20-24
Referee: Cameron Charnock.

England Universities 26 UK Armed Forces 14

UK Armed Forces are Presidents Cup Champions once again, despite a loss to England Universities in a scrappy final game of the tournament. England Universities were required to come up with a massive win and that looked unlikely despite them opening the score after nine minutes through scrum-half Elliott Jones with Jack Quinn nudging over the first of three goals.

Armed Forces responded quickly when lively loose forward Brodie Lee Butler crossed at the other end after good work by Dec Baines, and Danny Johnson converted. Kellen Wood then worked the ball left for Charlie McCurrie to score in the 22nd minute, and when Jones twisted in for his second four minutes later, Quinn's boot secured a ten-point advantage.

With time ticking down on the half, Armed Forces responded and a crisp move right involving five passes eventually saw centre Pete Holmes put Jack Bartlett over at the corner. Mickey Hoyle couldn't goal and it was 16-10 to the Universities at half-time.

The second half followed a similar pattern with nervous handling and several unforced errors. Despite this, the Armed Forces had the better chances and Holmes was held up over the line in the 49th minute.

Eventually, Armed Forces did score again through that right centre-wing combination, Bartlett grabbing his second. Unfortunately for them it went unconverted by Hoyle and after defending stoically, England Universities struck with two tries in the last seven minutes to set them up for the Student Four Nations in Ireland. Jack Cherry grabbed both, his first from a scrum attack and the second after Nathan Newbound put Leon Stewart down the ground and Cherry supported to go the remaining distance.

Quinn finished his evening, and the game with his third goal which brought celebrations for both sides.

Tries: Elliott Jones 2, Charlie McCurrie, Jack Cherry 2.

Goals: Jack Quinn 3/5

UK Armed Forces: Jake Boardman, Robert Matamosi, Mickey Hoyle, Pete Holmes, Jack Bartlett, Dec Baines, Matty Gaskell; James Parry, Liam Bradley, Jonny Griffiths, Jordan Kerman, Danny Johnson, Brodie Lee Butler. Subs: Callum Cone, Jefeti Vakalabure, Adam Middleton, George Mosey, Oscar Tamani, Elliot Richardson.

Tries: Brodie Lee Butler, Jack Bartlett 2.
Goals: Danny Johnson 1/1, Mickey Hoyle 0/2.

Half-time: 16-10
Referee: Gary Shaw