Pascoe Leads Combined Services to Victory

Dave Pascoe (RFA Victoria) was joined by five other Navy players as he led Combined Services to a thrilling victory over the Barbarians at a damp Brickfields. The victory by 27 - 24 avenges last seasons 31 - 25 reverse in the annual Royal British Legion Memorial Match, sponsored by Atkins. All six of the Navy contingent had strong games. Matt Parker (CTCRM) again demonstrated his versatility by being able to play anywhere in the backrow. It was his work on the ground that allowed CS to work their way back in to the game after the Barbarians had dominated the early contest for possession. Marsh Cormack (RNAS Yeovilton) was also instrumental in providing the platform from which the Combined Services could start to launch their talented backs. It was navy players who provided CS with their first three tries. Top finisher, Josh Drauninui (CTCRM), ran in the first two. For the first he again demonstrated his balance and strength when on the run whilst for the second he collected a deft chip to run in unopposed. The third try was scored by Matt Rhodes (HMS Bulwark). Matt capitalised on Pascoe's mis-fortune, who was forced off at half time with a broken thumb, with a well taken try from close range attacking the short side. Though he had limited opportunities Rob Lloyd (42 Cdo RM) came off the bench had again showed his ability to see and attack space. He certainly looked sharp before he leads the Navy Sharks at the Dubai Sevens Although the Navy had led the way in the scoring stakes the deciding try was a RAF/Army combination. With the Barbarians holding a 24 - 20 lead and the watch showing time the CS threw caution to the wind and attacked from within their own 22. The length of the field later Highlander DamuDamu was grounding the ball for a try that the Barbarians themselves would have been proud of. A touchline conversion, the final whistle and Dave Pascoe could join head coach, Cdr Mark Deller RN, in celebrating a well deserved victory. Finally, and we must never forget, the evening saw CS rugby and the Barbarians combine to present cheques totaling £6000 to the Royal British Legion in addition to their match collection amongst a very large West Country crowd.