Another Cup Win for the Navy Sharks at Newquay 7s
The Navy Sharks and Navy Sharks development side, the Stingrays, travelled to Newquay for their 6th tournament of the season at the end of June. Following their cup success at Yeovil the squad were on a high. Sam Benzie was continuing in his role as team captain for the Sharks and he determined that the standard of play was not going to drop, especially as the competition was being held in the far South West which meant the Sharks could call upon some of the Navy’s best players including Sam Matavesi, Matt Bowden and Seta Raumakita plus the emerging talent of Tom Notman. The Stingrays welcomed a few new players to their squad with William Black and Luke Tupholme playing in their first tournament.
The day started with typical Cornish summer weather - dark, damp and a bit of mizzle, but this did not affect the preparation of both sides. The base was pitched, the players were ready and the first kick off was 10.30am for both teams.
The Stingrays, entered into the social cup, with their first game against the West Waverlys. With a mainly unchanged squad the Stingrays came together and played with real spirt and determination to win 21 - 0. In their second game they won 37 - 0 but the third game against the Lizards was tough even though they managed a 28 - 12 win they were made to work hard for it. They topped their group and progressed to the semi-final of the social cup to face the Hurn Windsocks. The Stingrays played hard but they could never pull away however the coaching they have had ensured they controlled the pace and tempo of the game for the whole 14 minutes of play and they finished the game 19 - 12 victors and progressed to their first final. The Cubs, a team from West Wales were their opposition. They were the team to strike first with a powerful run from the winger to score in the corner 0 - 7, but the Stingrays hit back before half time through Callum Patterson to level the score at the break 7 - 7. But the Cubs were the strongest team on the day and 2 further tries put the game out of reach for the Stingrays (7 - 19 FT).
The Sharks were up against the strong competition of the O’Neil Nomads Reds (who won the La Manga 7s last weekend in Spain) in a very physical game where 3 yellow cards were issued. Matt Horton opened the score count before Sam Benzie added another before half time to lead 10 - 7. Horton scored again after the break with Tom Notman adding more to win 24 - 19.
The next team up were the Doom Bar Select. In this game the Sharks were totally in control, Seta (1 try) led the midfield and Sam Matavesi (2 tries) bossed the break down with Matt Bowden (1 try) running through gaps with ease, the final score was 36 - 0.
The final game in the group stage was against the Nomad Yellows. Following some changes the Sharks started a little slowly and conceded after the first min 0 - 7, but they regained composure and struck back through Horton, Roko Kurusasa and Bowden to take the lead 19 - 7 at half time. The Yellows scored again 19 - 14 but Roko and Charlie Heard pulled the Sharks ahead again before the Yellows got one back for a 33 - 19 win for the Sharks.
This put the Sharks through to the Elite cup final! As the Sharks topped the elite competition it was decided that the Nomads would combine their squad to give the Sharks a tougher game. The Sharks scored first with a fine slice run from Horton to score out wide 5 - 0. From the restart Bowden caught the ball bouncing up to score out wide 10 - 0. And before the Nomads could regroup Pat Coy rounded the Nomad players to score in the opposite corner for a 15 - 0 half time lead. In the second half the Sharks once again dominated. Matavesi in the loose showed skill and power, Benzie led the defence from the front and Bowden, Coy and Horton ran with ease and in the last few moments of the game Bowden finished off 2 well worked tries for an impressive 27 - 0 victory. The Sharks were the Newquay Elite Cup Winners.
It was a great weekend for the Navy Sharks and the Stingrays with some tough games being played. It is sometimes hard for players to adapt to 7s rugby but the progress of the squads in training has been fantastic. We are always looking for new players to get involved, so if you are interested please get in touch.
Next up the Navy Women 7s (the Makos) are at Havant 7s on Saturday 8th July and then the Sharks and Stingrays are at Exeter 7s on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th July.
Sam Benzie (captain), Oliver Newborn, Pat Coy, Sam Matavesi, Tom Notman, Matt Bowden, Matt Horton, Roko Kurusasa, Seta Raumakita, Charlie Heard, James Griggs and Ben Jeacock.
Colin Campbell, Liam Williams (captain), Alex Mcanley, Chris Mills, Ryan Bolton, Luke Tupholme, Callum Patterson, William Black and Marika Lavs.
Words by Guy Pallett
Images Royal Navy Rugby Union © Guy Pallett