Thrilling Battle Ends in Victory for HMS Collingwood in 50th Navy Cup Final

17 May 2023

18:00 @ HMS Sultan

HMS Sultan


HMS Collingwood

In a highly anticipated local derby, HMS Collingwood and HMS Sultan took the field for the Navy Cup Final, showcasing unit level skills and determination. Both teams demonstrated their eagerness to keep the ball alive and deliver an exhilarating match. It was HMS Sultan who drew first blood after capitalizing on a 50-22 opportunity. The ball was swiftly and neatly worked by Scoot to score the first try of the match which was successfully converted by Lovatt-McIntyre. Collingwood responded quickly by battling up the park for fly half Cummings to score fm a pick and drive and convert.

HMS Sultan showcased their attacking prowess as they created space out wide following solid forward play. With a well-executed overlap, Oh sprinted into the corner, securing a try and giving back the advantage to his team.

The match continued its fast-paced nature, with HMS Collingwood again responding quickly. It was difficult to determine the scorer in the midst of the intense action but AB Robbie Hume received the plaudits from his team mates! The scoreline was deadlocked again.

HMS Collingwood once again found space despite the determined defense of HMS Sultan. Orme playing at inside centre exhibited impressive footwork, skipping past a couple of tackles to reach the try line and put his team ahead.

HMS Sultan strength in the scrum was impressive, winning consecutive battles. However, they needed to convert their dominance into points, as HMS Collingwood's defence remained resilient.

Just before halftime, HMS Collingwood managed to add to their tally with a try from winger Tamani, which was successfully converted.

HT HMS Sultan 12 - 24 HMS Collingwood

HMS Collingwood continued their dominance in the second half, with no.8 Einchcomb delivering a powerful carry that led to another try, converted by Cummings. The gap between the teams widened and things became even more difficult when an unfortunate injury for Sultan's blindside flanker Roderick was removed from play.

Collingwood suffered a setback themselves with prop Watson being shown a yellow card. HMS Sultan seized the opportunity, dominating in the opposition's 22 and preventing them from clearing their lines. Under pressure, HMS Collingwood had too few defenders to stifle HMS Sultan's attack, with Brito crossing the try line after precise passing from the backs.

The match turned fiery as HMS Collingwood received a red card, reducing them to 13 players. Tempers flared, adding an extra layer of intensity to the game.

HMS Sultan launched numerous attacks in the closing minutes, coming agonizingly close to scoring. However, HMS Collingwood's defence stood strong, preventing them from breaching the try line.

In a last-ditch effort, HMS Sultan pushed deep into HMS Collingwood's 22, desperately needing two converted tries to draw level. A monumental scrum ensued, but time ran out for the team as HMS Collingwood held on. The victory was Collingwood’s 5th cup win moving them 3rd in the list of most successful teams. This is the Fareham establishment's first win since the 2000/01 season when they beath CTCRM in the 29th Cup final.

A valiant defence and clinical attacking display led to HMS Collingwood emerging as the victors. They defended their lead aggressively in front of a large Sulatan crowd, in sunny weather on a manicured pitch. Halcyon days!

Director of Community Rugby, Lt Cdr Jane West summed up the event, "With 26 fixtures played during the Navy Cup, it is evident the restructure has facilitated more participation in the Community game than in previous seasons. It was fantastic to see both training establishments at the top of the league table competing for the top place in what could be dubbed ‘the local derby’ of the Eastern Region. The event was extremely well executed, great rugby, great crowd, great atmosphere and a perfect example of what the Community game has to offer. The Navy Cup competition and all other Community competitions are a key part of the RNRU player pathway which continues to grow our players from the Community game through to the Representative game, one of these players could well be the future Snr Men’s XV Captain leading the team out onto Twickenham in the future, but it all starts with Community."

LPT Baz Bassil, Sultan TM said, "The turnout of supporters was class! Sultan and Collingwood fought hard from the first to the last minute, with a high standard of rugby across both teams, and a great competitive spirit evident to all. It was a pleasure to host and organise the event which was attended by so many. Both bases pulled together massively on and off the pitch to create a quality environment which displayed the RN ethos to a tee."

Winning Team Coach and Manager, LPT Sam Davies was delighted, "The Navy Cup Final was a well contested match, with both teams leaving everything on the pitch. The game was fast pace and back and forth throughout the full 80. HMS Collingwood discipline led to HMS Sultan keeping possession of the ball for the majority of the second half, but dogged defence and the grit to see the game out led to a Historic win for HMS Collingwood. BZ to both teams for the entertaining, high pace and skilful game."

Words by J Campbell-Baldwin

Images by Mark Deller and Keith Woodland.