Kepi Sponsor Royal Engineers Rugby Union Match v Royal Artillery

Kepi are proud sponsors of the Royal Engineers Rugby Union side, known as the Sappers for obvious reasons. The Club play at Gibraltar Barracks, home of 3 RSME Regiment and are the oldest service rugby club, having been founded in 1889.

Kepi were proud to sponsor this years game against the Royal Artillery or Gunners as they are known. These two old rivals were facing each other again for the Jones - Drake Cannonball Trophy, the Gunners having won the previous five encounters.

The game was played in January 2020 and was the final game of the 2019/20 season in League 1 of the Army Corps Championship.

The Gunners went into this game unbeaten in the Championship and had already booked their place in the Corps Final in March at Aldershot. The Sappers realised this would be a tough match, but Head Coach Gerhard Wessels was happy that his young side would acquit themselves well. The Sappers had won two and lost two of their previous fixtures, but their last game had been lost by the narrowest of margins, losing 17 – 19 against REME. They went into the match knowing they could take this game to the Gunners. The side were further encouraged by the Sapper Masters victory earlier in the day.

Storms earlier in the week had subsided as the teams took to the pitch at Minley. The Sappers confident start was matched in the first half by an early lead of 6 – 0, however a bout of penalties and handling errors plus losing a man to the sin bin meant they went in at half time 9 – 10, trailing the Artillery by one point. 

The Gunners added to their lead early in the second half but the Sappers responded well and the score went to 12 -13. And to be truthful they should have added more with the chances they had.  The Gunners pack were gaining more momentum as the match went on but the Sappers held them to a four point lead for much of the half until the Engineers sealed the game with a try and conversion to take the match 12 -23.

Despite the result, which was closer than the score shows, there were a number of positives for the Sappers to take away, some great individual performances and a true fighting spirit from the team collectively. The team will pretty much stay together for next season and they are an exciting prospect going forward. 

Kepi support for the Sappers reflects the close relationship they have with the Army. Many of their Projects in combat areas involve working with the Royal Engineers on a day to day basis. The company are proud to be able to put something back into the great work that this branch of the Armed Forces put in to combat areas such as Afghanistan. Often this infrastructure work goes unnoticed but it is an essential part of the Army’s ability to retain a presence and mobilise forces around the globe. 

The match was a great opportunity to share some downtown with our friends in the Royal Engineers. We are already looking forward to the 20/21 season and an opportunity to get our revenge on the Gunners!

Watch highlights of the game at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=colHZ0CX1hs

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