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06 July 2015

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The Spitfires chalked up experience of the Allianz Park '4G' pitch at the Sevens and the City tournament, at Saracens' home ground (4/5 July).

In scorching sun we stole the initiative vs a Price Waterhouse Coopers invitational side. Sqn Ldr Nick Monahan scored first down the left, followed by a typical charge by SAC Josh McNally, dragging several defenders. A third was added by Fg Off Lloyd Owen before halftime, though PWC got on the scoresheet too. Fg Off Tchad Collins-Francois applied the usual pace and power to extend the lead in the second half and a late PWC try was only a consolation. 26-12 the final score.

In game 2 against Darlington Mowden Park the skilful side punished our basic errors and built up a 3-try first half lead. A determined fightback was led by Tchad, scoring 2 out wide. Darlington MP had the game sewn up before an almighty hit from Fg Off Tibbats dislodged the ball and several phases later it was Tibbo thundering down field, finally popping off to SAC Andy Byrne in support. 31-21 it finished.

In the final pool game of the day, vs Barbados Flying Fish - a must-win to stand a chance of Sunday action - we managed another good start through none other than Tchad. A first half lead was built through tries by captain Flt Lt Rory Wood and McNally. 17-7 at half time, the Flying Fish got back to within 3 points with another converted score but we pulled away again and Fg Off Tom Rock finished things off with a break to the line. A satisfying 27-14 win against tough opponents.

Returning to Allianz Park on Day 2 there was initially confusion regards our qualification for a semi final. With no Plate or Bowl competitions, we needed to stand as best runner-up but the opposition for our final pool game failed to show. A decision was reached given our likelihood of having won by a sufficient number of tries and we were granted a semi-final berth - against Darlington MP again!

Despite clearly being a very strong side we were determined to fight as hard as possible against DMP. We defended solidly for the first 4 minutes and it wasn't until a promising attack of our own was turned over that DMP managed to work in for the opening score. A second followed before half time, again through very physical defence of a Spitfires attack. Unfortunately DMP's class took over again in the second half, adding 3 more scores and consigning us to a return home.

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