4 Nations Police Sport UK Rugby

Wednesday, 06 December, 2023

Scrum at Stirling

Ready for action

After a logistical nightmare in getting a squad up to the picturesque town of Sterling, The England Police Rugby team gave a valiant against their Scottish Police opponents showing that the town’s own William Wallace would’ve been proud of. 

With the full support of the Scottish faithful and a tuneful bagpipe band, the Scots came out firing and took an early lead with one of their forwards burrowing over from close range. A back and forth encounter ensued for the remainder of the first half, with England securing tries through a short range effort from Oscar Conroy-Purbrick and a strong show of handling resulting in Jamie Stevens crossing the whitewash. 

An extra three points from the boot of Sam Druce helped England close the gap but the score at half time remained in favour of the Scots at 22-17. 

Some strong half time words from coaches and players saw England come out a completely changed team in the second half. The physicality had been upped and the results began to pay dividends. 

Despite an unfortunate yellow card to replacement John O’Donnell for a dubious high tackle call, the Englishmen never let slip, and continued to pile the pressure on the Scots, with the home side only managing the one converted try in the second half. 

The first of the England scores came from a nice break from Olly Newton and a series of deft offloads finding their way to Cormac Healy, who put his foot down and left behind a handful of Scottish would-be tacklers, sliding in under the posts. 

The second of three second half England scores came courtesy of replacement prop, Camillo Parillo-Ocampo, who powered his way over from short range. 

Another brilliant exploitation of the space out wide saw Tom Jennings fly over for a try in the corner 10 minutes from full time to put the away side 7 points ahead. A tough kick from the corner nearly went over for Sam Druce, but fell agonisingly short. 

This left the game in the balance in the final minutes but with the impact of the EPRFC’s very own version of South Africa’s ‘Bomb Squad’, aptly named the ‘Mega Bus’, the scrums turned incredibly one sided. Front-row replacements Jack Culverhouse, Casey George and Camillo Parillo-Ocampo turned the tide of the scrums in the final 10 minutes and started turning the Scottish front row inside out. With this, EPRFC managed to secure and keep possession until finally kicking the ball into touch and securing a well fought victory over a strong Scottish side. 

Man of the match went to Jake Stewart, whose work in the loose matched his work at the set piece and set the tone for a great team performance. 

This leaves everything to play for when England clash with Wales next year. The mathematicians will have to get their calculators out and work out the intricacies of bonus points, but the winner of this game will have the best chance of taking home the trophy. 

Final score: 29-36 to England


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