Air Arm Make Uncertain Start

The first round of the 2009 Inter Command tournament for the Inverdale Cup saw the Fleet Air Arm make an uncertain but winning start against Portsmouth Command at Burnaby Rd. Much of the game was characterised by unforced errors from both sides as they struggled to get to grips with a damp ball in an otherwise perfect evening for rugby. Early misses at goal by B Buinimasi may well have cost the FAA dear as they watched Portsmouth recover from 6 - 0 down to take the lead 8 - 6 following a well worked try down the left. Further exchanges of penalties brought the game to 15 - 14 to FAA midway through the second half before Portsmouth Command scored the try of the evening from a perfectly executed move off an attacking lineout. Clean ball was moved well and finished with veteran centre Dave Jones drawing his man to create space for Portsmouth replacement wing to cruise over for the try. With the conversion nailed it was 21 - 15 to Portsmouth and a home win looked on the cards. However FAA returned to the attack and were awarded a Penalty Try in somewhat bizarre and controvesial circumstances. Following a quickly taken penalty the referee went under the posts for Portsmouth Command being offside. Would a try probably have been scored? There may have been a case but it diminished the moment the FAA knocked on before any contact was made. With a simple conversion B took his personal tally to 17 and left Portsmouth to rue what might have been. The teams may well meet again in the Semi Final and both teams would fancy their chances of winning, so all is not lost yet. In the other game RN Scotland made a winning return to the competition by beating Plymouth Command at the Rectory. Next week will see Plymouth play Portsmouth with the losers going out of the tournament.