To celebrate their 75th anniversary, the RAF’s regimental rugby league side undertook a three game tour of Holland, returning unbeaten.
According to Sgt Stu Norrie-Bland, the tour had huge benefits outside the results, which saw his side easily defeat a combined Dams (consisting of players from Amsterdam Cobras and Rotterdam Pitbulls), KDC (an amalgamation of Den Haag Knights and Harderwijk Dolphins) and a Dutch Development XIII in Harderwijk.
“Proud is not a word that I use often,” he said. “But I couldn’t feel it more having brought 26 warriors over to the Netherlands to develop the game of rugby league.
“For us, scoring 250 points across the three games and only conceding 18 is testament to the professionalism of our boys.
“But a huge shout out to the Dutch Rugby League Bond for hosting us and we expect they will use this experience to take the game forward within the Netherlands; we have made some lifelong friends.”
Despite the score lines, NRLB development officer Jason Bruygoms could see only positives.
“We did not want one of the domestic teams to miss out so we decided to combine them. It might not have been the best strategy as they were in opposition during the regular season, which only finished the weekend before.
“That had an effect but, nevertheless, they relished the chance to play a top quality side and will take the lessons on board, it was a win-win for everyone.”