HMS Ocean RFC v Fregate Forbin/TAG
HMS Ocean RFC
A warm dry afternoon in the rugby hotspot that is Toulon witnessed a historic rivalry between the British and French Navies in Ocean's first game of their Mediterranean Tour.
A large and talented squad was at (POAET) Rob Jones disposal made up of Ships Company and TAG. Competition for places has been fierce due to large numbers making Jones’ decision on his first 15 a tricky one. After a couple of tours of the dockyard by our non English speaking driver we arrived at the ground and then quickly settled into our warm up.
Ocean kicked the game off and quickly set about pressing and rushing the French. After a knock on by Forbin’s number 6, Ocean ended up with early possession and a chance to run the ball. It was evident early on that Ocean’s neat back play and interchanging passing was causing problems. An early break by regular try scorer (NA AH) Scott gained yards, with quick ball it meant that Ocean could switch the play and had numbers wide. After a tidy offload by (LA AH) Phillips, Ocean scored the first try (L CPL) Barker. Oceans lead was then extended after an almost impossible kick from the touchline into wind was converted by Fullback (LAET) Isaksen.
From the restart Ocean again quickly seized possession and continued to run the ball through their dangerous backline. It wasn’t long before (AB WS) Myres broke to score Oceans second try of the game, again converted by Isaksen. The game was in danger of becoming a one sided affair until Forbin’s team where replenished with TAG who kindly offered to play for them.
The influx of new personnel quickly improved Forbin and it wasn’t long before (SGT) Dellai capitalized on a loose ball and went over the line. The conversion was successfully kicked by the French fly half. 7-14 in Oceans favour. The fight back was quickly subdued by Oceans impressive pack and speed of rucking. This was the platform in which Oceans dangerous backs would enjoy. Just on the 20 minute mark Ocean scored their 3rd try after some clever play by (LA AH) Phillips who set up Myres once again for the centres 2nd try. The conversion followed which Isaksen easily slotted over.
On the stroke of half time Ocean raced through once again with (L CPL) Barker running down the left wing before popping a ball into the hands of Phillips to score. This time the conversion was a bit trickier than the last; this didn’t prove a problem for the in form Isaksen who made little trouble of the tight angle.
Half time- HMS Ocean 28-7 Fregate Forbin
The second half again started well for Ocean with an early couple of penalties awarded in their favour. Isaksen fancied his chances and added another 3 points to the score. The second penalty was kicked for touch and Oceans decision was rewarded with a good lineout and mall which saw the big prop (PO SEA) Geldard go over for his first try in recent memory. Conversion scored.
Something magic was needed in order for Forbin to get back in the tie. And the magic was duly delivered by a Fijian Army Commando whose solo try left 4 players in his wake. Conversion kicked. He was a constant thorn in Oceans side and again went on to score another try quickly after. The conversion was missed but the comeback was on. 28-19 to Ocean.
The comeback however was short lived as Ocean upped the tempo. Phillips again broke through and assisted (MNE) Mackenzie to score his first try for Ocean. Conversion kicked. Within minutes Ocean again went over the try line, this time after good work from (AB WS) Macdonald and (NA AH) Ben Watson, whose strong running created space that allowed scrumhalf (AB WS) Titmus to score. The following conversion was successful.
Phillips was enjoying himself until a high tackle forced him off with a jaw injury and the penalty was awarded. Isaksen again produced the goods with a well executed kick. With 5 minutes to go Isaksen finished off his day with another penalty to keep his 100% kicking record intact.
The only downsides to a dominant win were injuries to Winger (NA AH) Scott and Centre (LA AH Phillips). Oceans next fixture is against The Aramanto Lions of Livorno, in which they will be hoping to build on this win. (Pictures available on HMS Ocean RFC Facebook page.)
Final score- HMS Ocean 58-19 Fregate Forbin/TAG
1. PO AWT Bill Baillie
2. NA AH Cody Duheaume
3. PO SEA Jan Geldard
4. Lt Cdr Edwin Adams
5. AB CS Chad Smith
6. AB WS Chris Macdonald
7. PO ME Rob Fuca
8. NA AH Tom Matanatabu ©
9. AB WS Mathew Titmus
10. AB CS Blake Smith
11. NA AH Tom Scott
12. LA AH Dan Phillips
13. AB WS Eldon Myres
14. L CPL Stuart Barker
15. LA ET Stu Isaksaen
NA AH Ben Watson
LET ME Rab Seru
PO AET Col Beatson
PO ME Rob Cozens
Team Manager: PO AET Rob Jones
Match Report: NA (AH) Scott