Combined Coaching for Cup ChasersOn Mon 4 Apr the Royal Navy Senior XV undertook a joint coaching afternoon with the Brockenhurst College Rugby Team. Both teams are currently fully focussed on chasing silverware and both are potentially 2 games away from their goal. Naturally for the Navy players the focus is on the Royal Air Force in Apr before meeting the Army in May. The desire clearly to retain their Inter Service crown. For the Brockenhurst players their focus was on their national schools semi final against a Preston team this week, with the desire to play in the final, to be held at Newbury RFC, in Army Navy week. (Thu 5 May)
The non contact sessions, conducted under the watchful eyes of Navy Coaches Lt Cdr (Doc) Cox RN (HMS Nelson) and POAET (Owen) Salmon (CHF, RNAS Yeovilton), involved a series of high tempo skill drills culminating in a mini conditioned competition at the end. Both coaches were impressed by the handling skills of the Brockenhurst players, their eye for space and their work rate off the ball. All skills which should bode well for their match at Preston. For the navy team it was the opportunity to loosen up the limbs after Thu bruising encounter against the Marine Nationale. Although the session was non contact it didn't stop Brockenhurst's diminutive halfback dumping Navy forward XXXXX [Name redacted - ed] firmly on his backside during one passage of play.
On completion of the session the navy players moved to Brockenhurst College's award winning restaurant, MJs, where they were treated to a superb three course meal by the college's Hospitality Course students. Both the front of house and chefs are all students but they once again proved to be as an effective team as both the Navy Senior's and the Brockenhurst Rugby players. At the end of the meal Navy Captain, POAET (Dave) Pascoe (771 NAS, RNAS Culdrose) presented college Principal Di Roberts with a signed squad shirt. Both teams will no doubt be following each others progress with renewed interest and for the navy team it is back to HMS Nelson and some hard work in preparation for their next challenge, a rejuvenated RAF team, at Newbury RFC on Wed 13 Apr.