COMMONWEALTH CUP THE FINAL FIXTURES
At the start of the day it was simple all that needed to happen, for the RN to retain the Commonwealth Cup, was for the Australians to beat the New Zealand Navy without allowing the Kiwis to get a bonus point and the RN to beat the South African Navy and score 4 tries in the process. Well beyond all expectation the ANZAC rivalry worked entirely to the benefit of the RN. By half time the Kiwis had scored 2 unconverted tries with the Aussies only having a penalty to show for their efforts. The second half was a different story with 15 points scored by the Australians in a dramatic and exciting fight back. With one of the 2 tries scored converted and a penalty kicked the Royal Australian Navy managed to hold on to the lead despite the best efforts of the passionate and determined New Zealand team. As the final whistle sounded it was the Australians who were celebrating a well earned victory in their first win in this Tournament. Result: Royal Australian Navy 18 - Royal New Zealand Navy 10 ROYAL NAVY v SOUTH AFRICAN NAVY With the first part of the equation going entirely the way that the RN would have wished the Tournament was well and truly wide open. The Kiwis may have had the benefit of Buck Shelford to give them inspiration in the game against the RN but today things were different and it was the RN who had the boost of a team talk prior to the match by the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathon Band the President of the RNRU. From the very start of the game the RN team demonstrated their intent and the speed of play and precision interplay between backs and forwards had the South African team reeling. It only took 6 mins for the first try to come with Dan Parkes at the bottom of a forward drive following a well controlled line out take by Marsh Cormac. Unconverted the score stood at 5-0. The tempo of the game was now becoming established with the powerful boot of either Jamie Caruana, Lloydy Lloyd or Craig Hodgy Hodgkinson pegging the South African team back. An attempt to run the ball out was thwarted by a tackle from Marc Salama and the pass out of the tackle found Jamie whose run set up Andy Vance to slice through the defence and score on 10 mins. Again the extra points were missed but the score now stood at 10-0. The pressure on the South Africa side rose to an even greater intensity and as a ball was once more drilled forward the full back knocked the ball forward to give the RN a scrum on the 22 metres and a great platform for the next onslaught. From Dave Paco Pascoe to Greg Barden back to Justin Doney then Bee Buinimasi and then Colin Milkins the only answer to the ruck that followed was a South African coming over the top and a penalty. The ball was then kicked for a line out short of the goal line and it was Simon Burns who finished off this catch and drive. This time Paco kicked the extra points and with 15 mins gone the score stood at 17-0. The South Africans tried everything they could to break down the RN defence but there was no way through and by the 28th minute Greg Barden collected a kick ahead by Hodgy and despite the best attention of 2 of the defending three quarters he still managed to score and with the kick converted by Paco. It was now 24-0 and with 4 tries scored and the bonus point secured all the RN required to do was preserve the lead and the Commonwealth Cup would be retained. Once again the hosts tried to raise their game but the RN were able to withstand the pressure on them without conceding any points. At the last it was unfortunate that Justin Doney received a ball which had been spilled forward or he would have finished the half with a try. Half time score: Royal Navy 24 South African Navy 0 Rhodri Dicks entered the fray for the second half for Justin Doney and he had an immediate impact by adding another dimension of power and drive and determination. It was Rhodri who scored the first try of the half and although unconverted the score moved to 29-0 with only 5 mins gone. Minutes later it was Lloydy who scored after another period of forward and back interplay but he was unable to convert his own try. The score was now 34-0 with a little over 30 mins remaining. Shortly afterwards Colin Milkins made way for Woolly Wooltorton and Simon May replaced Dan Parkes. With 2 of the front row replaced it would be a test for the tight 5. It was a test that they proved more than capable of passing with flying colours. Opting to take a scrum instead of an easy 3 points from a penalty on the edge of the 22 metres the sound platform once again provided the springboard from which the backs could perform and with the ball swifty shipped through the hands of the three quarters it was Andy Vance who placed the ball down in the corner for his second try of the game with 20 mins gone. With no points added the score now stood at 39-0. Triple substitutions of Wayne Cowboy John for Paco, Jesse Owens for Jim Hyde and Andy Shields for Marc Salama. Simon Burns had now taken on the mantle of Captain. The new players made their impression straight away and it was Marsh Cormac who benefited from the addition of the fresh players as he scored and the it was now 44-0. With 10 mins left Dave Jones came on for the squads most improved player Andy Vance. The South Africans refused to lie down and their efforts were finally rewarded with a try. The RN came once again in a final flourish and it was Gaz Evans who scored what was to be the final try of the Tournament. Bee stood up to take the kick and the extra points were secured. The score now stood at 51-5 and as the final whistle blew the RN had secured not only the victory but also retained the Commonwealth Cup. Final score:Royal Navy 51 South African Navy 0 The Babcock Trophy was presented to Dave Pascoe at the post match reception by the Head of the South African Navy and the First Sea Lord. Peter Rogers the CEO of Babcock International gave the RN Squad their individual medals and Marsh Cormac received the player of the Tournament Trophy. All that was left to do to complete the official aspects of the proceedings was to name the combined Navies 'Barbarian' Squad to face the Western Province Select on Friday 13 October at the False Bay Club. The Barbarian Team Manager Mick Connolly named the side and the players received their shirts from Lady Sarah Band and Mr Roger O'Callaghan CEO of Babcock Africa. It was the end of a good day at the office.