Services Rugby

Discussion in 'Sports, Adventure Training and Events' started by Leedsboy, Apr 16, 2009.

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  1. Last night I went to Aldershot for the IS Rugby, Army v RAF (I'm in the RAF by the way). I'm not pissed off with the result (11-67) as it's expected these days but the Army had a player sent off in the 5th minute. And in the 64th minute the lights failed but still the score mounted. Question is why do the RAF still award caps and get a place at the top table of Services Rugby when they obviously no longer deserve it?

    Even the Vets got thrashed and the Ladies lost 0-72. So in all seriousness why do the Army and Navy still play us? Look at the RAF Soccer team - they still win games (mens and ladies) and have fuller fixture lists. This season outside the set-in-stone IS, the RAF mens team have played just three games - not their fault but maybe other teams don't think it's worth it?

    The RAF is a football service now, even large stations such as Brize Norton only muster one team. It has downsized in many ways, and Operational Needs affect player availability - but the other two services suffer this. Perhaps the Army actually encourage sporting success, look at the Army's rugby budget (training camps in South Africa etc) and standing (a respectable fixture list and a love for sevens). The RAF talk the talk but don't back it up by releasing players, all a far cry from the amateur era.

    I would like to know what others think - should an IS cap for the RAF game be an intermediate one, the equivalent of an 'A' team cap? If so should the RAF continue to award full caps for being on the same pitch as decent players? I know there's nothing you can do when faced with Fijian internationals etc but the Army went looking for these years ago - why not the RAF? Do Army players treat the RAF game like an England international getting a cap for playing Romania or the Barbarians, ie not quite the real thing - you have to really earn it in the Navy game?

    So what is the solution to make the RAF competitive? We last scored decent points around 1997 (two high scoring draws) but nothing since. Ironically the RAF rugby league team is pretty good, and punch above their weight constantly. Would the powers that be resign their commissions before the RAF concentrates on league than union? At what point does common sense take over - when the Army put a ton on the RAF? No RAF coach wants to be the first to suffer this on his watch but one day it will happen, I guess in the next 5 years. We shouldn't even be allowed a century of IS rugby before we pack it in as there is still a decade to go! The RAF barely play sevens and therefore don't treat rugby seriously. It must be galling for SNCOs and Senior Officers that remember (and may have played in) the good old days.

    I saw the RAF play Oxford University this season and we lost 9 tries to 1. We no longer score many points, or even pressure the opposition. It's now a question of will we actually get in the opposition 22? The answer is rarely.

    So I'm not questioning the committment, as the players do their best but, come on, it's time to politely ask the ARU and RNRU if we can crawl away quietely. Station rugby can continue, and the players will still earn much pride from doing so, but the Senior XVs should not embarress themselves any more. In 2010 what price the Army 95 RAF 3? Navy 50 RAF 3. It can and probably will happen, it just depends on Army and Navy committments. Even if all the troops came home today would the RAF be competitive. I think not.
  2. I find it amazing that you should post this on a predominantly Army website. Have you no loyalty to your own Service?
    RAF Rugby may be struggling at the moment, there were days, not so long ago when a match against the RAF was a real tester and RAF(G) had one of the most respected packs in the game.
    All teams have their ups and downs, you win some - you lose some. That is the nature of sport, just because you hit a losing streak doesn't mean you start giving up or downgrading your effort.
    Whatever the RAF decides to do about its rugby I expect them to put their own house in order and not to have disloyal d1ckheads washing their dirty linen in public in this unseemly way.
  3. Here here!!

    Actually, fcuk 'em. They're shiite because they're all homos, and shouldn't be playing a mans game
  4. I know but I didn't like to say.
  5. What can you expect from a Service that allows pre-tied bowties, polyester mess kit and patent leather shoes.

    Man up a bit and accept you are a soccer Service - inevitable when you automatically commission your drivers.

    Roll on the 2 May when we will see a proper game when the Senior Service will fight to the death against enormous odds - but still lose (but with much respect from p!ssed up pongoes). The RAF are invited to watch and learn but will all be watching Pontins League chavball.
  6. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    And I thought it was about the taking part - and the p*ss up afterwards.
  7. Do you play rugby? Are you involved or just having a pop at those who do? Why not offer to help get involved, encourage coaching with local union teams. Are the RAF players in a local side? Its one way of getting match experience. And I agree you are a bit disloyal here.
  8. Thanks all. I did play but age and commonsense led me to take up the whistle. I don't like being disloyal to my own service but no-one else will put their hands up and start the debate. Besides the RAF version of AARSE is something called E-goat. No I don't know what one is either.

    We are not just having a bit of a slump - it's been going on since 1998. I don't mind us concentrating on soccer but hate the pretence of trying to keep up with the others.

    Still the ground at Aldershot is good and it's a good atmosphere.
  9. I don't agree with your statement about sevens. I am one of the RAFRU Team therapists and covered the Binbrook Bomb sevens tournament at RAF Halton, it was a fantastic event, everyone played well and with pride, in fact it was the pride of the players that made it such a good atmosphere. I think it is commendable that the RAFRU has stuck it out despite constant disappointment, no one likes to play a losing game. I think it is silly to think that operational commitment is a causative factor and doubt there is much evidence to back that up. I do not believe lack of support is an issue either as managers will try their hardest to get people away for service sporting events.

    So what the RAF team isnt at their best, but what looks worse, an underdog that keeps fighting or a coward that gives up and fcuks off? Have some pride in you Service, air your views to the people that can make a difference, not on an Army forum.

    I do however agree that E-Goat is totally and utterly Sh1te and Arrse is the mutts nuts. ;-)
  10. Leedsboy, if you have a genuine interest in RAF Rugby and its development then I suggest you give me a call (95221 6044) or make yourself known to any member of RAFRU at Newbury next week where I will be extremely pleased to accept you as a volunteer and use your energy in a postive, constructive and developmental manner.
  11. See you at Newbury on Tuesday. :wink:
  12. Please see the attached link:

    I apologise if I have ruffled a few feathers but it's time for the RAFRU to wake up and smell the coffee. Yes we have a great history, and in the amateur era we did remarkably well, especially as the games were at Twickenham. Now we are small fry - from the Army match report they are laughing at us.

    At unit level the game is still healthy for those units that still play the game but the RAF is not a professional team that turns out regardless. The players are hard-working airmen and Officers that have to be covered for their absence. Sometimes they can't make it, hence the dropouts this year. If they are released from duty and can't compete for more than half an hour against the Army then will line managers continue to support being a man down for training sessions and games? In an ideal world current Operational committments would calm down but I can't see that happening.

    How long do we swim against the tide before it gets tired of us? The score against the Navy will be interesting. I really hope we win, or come close, but can't help thinking the Navy will see it as a training session for the main one.
  13. When the heavenly marker
    Goes to chalk against your name
    It matters not who won or lost
    But how you played the game.