Colchester Gladiators American Football Club


Rugby Challenge Match

Colchester Gladiators XI 29
Harwich & Dovercourt (2nd's) XI 5

Saturday 16th September 2006 - Venue: Harwich & Dovercourt Rugby Club, Wick Lane, Harwich, Essex.

During a bright sunny September afternoon some of the Colchester Gladiators changed sports for a day.

A combined team of Gladiators American Football Club & Colchester Rugby Club 3rd's took the challenge from Harwich Rugby Club 2nd's & played together for the first time in an entertaining Rugby match held at Harwich's home ground.

The Gladiators team included Nick Foxley, George Meighan, Mark Gilbranch, Phil Pearson, Tom Clarke & Paul Bovingdon - Coach/Waterboy for the day was Duncan Flack. Gladiator DB Andy Hannon lined up for Harwich.

As has been recently common to followers of Gladiators American Football, they had to come back from behind to record the victory. 

Harwich started brightly & powered downfield scoring a 'try' (not touchdown!), but, missed the conversion & took an early 5-0 lead. The home side looked confident after this quick score & the spectators thought that this would be an easy victory to the Rugby side over a combined American Football & Rugby team. 

However this was not to be as the Gladiators 'All Stars' had other ideas. Straight after the re-start the Gladiators team took almost total control of the game. Controlling every Scrum with power & almost constantly pushing Harwich back, several yards at times. Line-Outs were also mostly coming down in favour of the Gladiators & quick, powerful running would be the undoing of the host team. 5 'trys' followed with 2 conversions completed, making a total of 29 unanswered points to the Gladiators team. (Including a spectacular sprinting score from the veteran Nick Foxley into the left hand corner of the endzone.)

Harwich did have opportunities to add to their score, but, a resolute Gladiators defence held them at bay.

The final score 29-5 in favour of the Gladiators 'All Stars'.

A very entertaining event to all that played & watched this game, especially to those who had not watched or played rugby at this level before. Talk has already begun of a re-match.....

Special mention to Andy Hannon & George Meighan who organised the Challenge Match.

(Report By Steve Hawes - 19th September 2006)