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Heroes Rugby Challenge serves up a cracker

05 December 2011

  • Heroes Rugby Challenge raises thousands for charity
  • Southern Hemisphere edge out Northern counterparts 

Northern Hemisphere 22 Southern Hemisphere 36

Service men lead the teams out at Twickenham

Photo: Getty Images

Almost 30,000 fans played witness to a superb spectacle of passionate, running rugby on Saturday as the northern and southern hemisphere’s collided for the Help for Heroes Rugby Challenge.

Over £2 million pounds has now been raised from the two Heroes Rugby matches at Twickenham, the first in 2008, and while the day was more about fund raising than keeping score, an Adam Thomson inspired southern hemisphere side ran out eventual 36-22 winners.

England U20 hooker Scott Spurling races through to score

Photo: Getty Images

It was north who struck first, though, after England U20 hooker Scott Spurling, 18, sidestepped the great Wallaby wing Joe Roff to run in the first try of the afternoon from deep inside his own half with Army man Ceri Cummings converting.

That was as good as it got for Dean Ryan and John Kirwan’s side, as the southern hemisphere replied immediately with the South African centre Andries Strauss slicing through the north defence to give Thomson, the south captain and a recent World Cup winner, the chance to dive over.

Southern hemisphere players celebrate a try

Photo: Getty Images

Centre Jackson Willison, from New Zealand, scored a breathtaking second try for the south before their South African lock Inus Ras battered over just before the interval to put Mallett's side in control.

The south suffered a blow when fly-half and kicker Sias Ebherson was taken off on a stretcher moments after the north introduced a couple of illustrious substitutes in another World Cup winner, Will Greenwood, and Sean Long, the former St Helens rugby player who has been playing union of late for Preston Grasshoppers.

Northern full back Ceri Cummings in action

Photo: Getty Images

Worcester's Josh Drauniniu gave the south a stranglehold on the match with a try following a run from the halfway line after the break, before Long and Greenwood combined to give the centre Tom Gleeson a deserved try.

The impressive South African hooker Pieter Van Vuuren cancelled out the score by crashing over in the corner before the north full-back Cummings rounded off the scoring with a try in the last minute.

Help the Heroes has funded a variety of projects including the £8 million rehabilitation complex at Headley Court, a new £3.5 million treatment centre for combat stress and the creation of a £6 million quick reaction fund to support individuals in need.

Northern Hemisphere

C Cummings; E Walker, T Gleeson, B Cohen, A Watson; N Mordt, D Pascoe; A Giorgadze, S Spurling,D Bell, D Grewcock, H Vyvyan (capt.), A Quinlan, S Betsen, I Boladau.

Tries: Spurling, Gleeson, Cummings. Cons: Cummings (2). Pen: Cummings. 

Southern Hemisphere

J Roff; A Matsun, J Willison, A Strauss, K Basson: S Ebersohn, J Marshall; S Taumalolo, P van Vuuren, T Mercy, I Ras, J Thrush, A Thomson (capt.), A J Venter, Z Feaunati.

Tries: Thomson, Willison, Ras, Draunioniu, van Vuuren. Cons: Ehberson (2), Little (2). Pen: Ehberson.

Referee: C White (England)

Att: 29,251