Battle of the Training Establishments - Sultan v Collingwood

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HMS Sultan v HMS Collingwood

HMS Sultan hosted HMS Collingwood for an Eastern Region fixture between the training establishments.  The match was originally to be played at Collingwood, however due to the Navy Women’s Team using the pitch at Collingwood it fell to HMS Sultan to host.  Competition has always been fierce between the two teams and this game was Sultan’s chance to put one over on the rival team, making use of the home advantage.

After a brief from our esteemed referee Mr Martyn Holloway, both teams got warmed up ready for the 1730 kick-off.  Collingwood kicked to Sultan, but straight into the safe hands of Sultan’s fullback ETME (Charlie) “Rigsy” Rigelsford.  Sultan then fired a kick straight back, chased and applied pressure, causing them to panic and concede an early penalty.  Sultan’s talented fly half ETME Scott chose to take the kick, and after only 3 minutes of play Sultan had put 3 points on the scoreboard.  

Sultan then continued to capitalise on the home advantage with an unconverted penalty try from AET McGinley after 5 minutes.  This was just the start of what was to be a relentless attack from Sultan with tries from ETME Tyler-Holland at 10 minutes, McGinley again after 13 minutes, Riglesford after 21 minutes and Tyler-Holland again at the 40 minute mark.  Scott continued to impress with his accurate kicking, converting every single one of Sultan’s tries to the dismay of Collingwood and giving Sultan a brutal 36 point lead at half-time.

Though Sultan were clearly dominating, at no point did they become careless or allow Collingwood any opportunity to claw back any points.  So, after a quick team talk from Team Captain and scrum half AET Cockin, the teams once more got ready for battle.

Early in the second half a fumbled pass from Sultan and a burst of speed from Collingwood looked like it could well be the end of Sultan’s clean slate.  However, a huge effort from Sultan’s bulldozing back row of SLt Harbour, LETME Gigg and ETME "Lenny" Lennox led to a turnover in Sultan’s 22 which was then quickly kicked away leading to a subsequent try from Tyler-Holland.  Scott lined it up and nailed the kick putting the score at 43 -0 at the 45 minute mark.  Another try from McGinley at 55 minutes, this time converted by Tyler-Holland - as Scott’s foot was getting tired- and a burst of speed from AET Cook at 67 minutes gave a final score of 57 – 0 and a well-deserved victory for Sultan.

Sultan’s masterful victory was down to solid leadership from team captain Dan Cockin, ensuring Sultan did not over-commit to rucks and mauls and kept the players focused.  Great ball handling from all the backs also played a big part, particularly young Scott as fly-half who not only made a few heroic runs of his own and plenty of cheeky dummy passes but also converted all but one of Sultan tries.

Throughout the match Mr Martyn Holloway was fair and consistent and allowed the game to flow well, remaining vigilant and policing the new rules regarding high tackles.  This resulted in AET Thorne making the shortest ever debut after making a high tackle on the wing after only 17 seconds on the pitch!

Both teams unquestionably gave 100% and buoyed by their victory Sultan’s team enjoyed a post match celebration upon completion.

Words by James Johnson