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Heartbreak for Highland Wildcats as Inverness club lose in Britbowl final to Rushmoor Knights in Cambridge

By Andrew Henderson

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Highland Wildcats made it to a record-equalling fifth Britbowl final, but could not find a way past the Rushmoor Knights to lift the title.

The Wildcats went down to Cambridge looking for what would have been a record-breaking fourth UK Championship triumph, but despite making it through two rounds to get to the final it was not to be.

Rushmoor proved to be an unstoppable force throughout Britbowl, winning the showcase match 65–20, but the Wildcats’ Robbie Paulin believes there are plenty of reasons for the Highlanders to hold their heads high.

“The Knights wiped out every other team that they played throughout the whole season,” he reasoned.

“Their head coach came over at the end and said we were the first team to really give them a game all year. I asked him to say that to the team, because I think that really meant something to them.

“Even though the score was quite a large one, it never felt like we were incapable of scoring points.

“Our defence struggled against that huge power rush they had, and we knew we were coming up against that but it was so over-powering.

“Our offence was never at the point where we couldn’t do anything. Our centre, who is 14, was holding off this fully grown man for most of the game to give our quarterback a chance to get open.

“We always had options. We always just fell short of them.”

While there was naturally disappointment at losing the final, Paulin was delighted with the respect shown to Rushmoor, adding: “Whenever your final game of the season is a loss, it’s always such a hit.

“It’s almost better to be in the third and fourth place game and win that to come third. When I spoke to them at the end, I was saying it’s totally fine to feel absolutely gutted.

“What we always said we would do is be as classy as we possibly can.

“The guys instantly gave Rushmoor the respect they were due. You’ve got to feel it, but we were really proud of that.”

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