42 Commando Royal Marines
Following a busy period of both work and rugby, the players from 42 Commando concluded their pre-Christmas season during which they shared the Royal Marines Championship trophy (Argyll Bowl) for the first time ever in an epic encounter with 1 Rifles. The unit provided many of the players for this years Corps team with Captain Tom Evens-Jones leading the team to successes in Scotland against a determined RN Scotland Command. After taking 42 Commando to Portsmouth to play HMS Collingwood in the Navy Cup semi-final, he then lead the Corps to a spirited but unsuccessful defence against a star studded Fleet Air Arm side in the final of the Inverdale Trophy at Burnaby Road.
Last night was another opportunity to take on the Fleet Air Arm as 42 Command faced RNAS Culdrose in the final of the Navy Cup at the Rectory in Plymouth. 42 Commando amassed a formidable group of supporters who were enthusiastic and very vocal in their support from the kci off.
The game started with 42 Commando under pressure from a sizeable forward pack and a back line led by the current Royal Navy skipper, Dave Pascoe. The game was end to end, played at a impressive tempo, with some stalwart defence from 42 Commando and strong runs from No 8 Naval Airman Qaranivalu, which set up several unsuccessful chances for the Culdrose team.
Two penalty kicks from Culdrose saw them take a 6-0 lead towards the end of the first half. Following a scrum, Corps back row player Cpl Matt Warwick caught Dave Pascoe in possession and gained turn over the ball. Following several phase of close play, Mne Jack Usher scored in the corner seeing the half time score as 6-5 to Culdrose.
The second half saw a more open game as 42 Commando started to gain the upper hand and move the ball wide at every opportunity. The sustained pressure lead to Culdrose giving away a scrum close to their own line. What can only be described as a fantastic effort by the 42 Commando pack, shunted the heavier Culdrose pack backwards and enabled 42 Commando No 8 Sgt Jamie Goss to drop on the ball for a 6-10 lead, which then turned into a 6-12 score as Mne Matt Smith converted the try.
This was to be the final score and saw 42 Commando as the 2009/10 Navy Cup winners.
The Navy Plate final followed, and saw HMS Tireless and HMS Ocean battle out a game of below and above the waves. The team from Tireless lived up to their name, and did not give in despite the deteriorating weather conditions, and successfully sunk the Capital ship by 16 points to 10.
Another great evening of rugby held at the home of South West Navy Rugby, Devonport Services; a huge vote of thanks must go to the ground and club staff for providing a good pitch to play on and the traditional hospitality afterwards.