Community Rugby going from Strength to Strength in Portsmouth


The kick off was scheduled for 1600, on what turned out to be a wet, windy night.  Collingwood won the toss and kicked off with the wind behind them.  The wind and the rain made the ball as slippery as a bar of soap, and Collingwood soon dropped it. Front row newcomer Nick Tacey at hooker, so this was his first test in a live scrum.  He performed very well, winning all his own ball in the scrum. 

The game was very evenly matched - both teams were on a par, strength wise.  After 12 mins, Sultan gave away a penalty away just inside the 10m line.  The Collingwood kicker missed - by quite a margin, but, it gave Sultan an insight into how they were desperate for points early on.  HMS Sultan kept their heads, and brought the play back to them.  After approx 35 mins, the momentum was beginning to swing Sultan's way, with most of the play now taking place in the Collingwood half.  The pressure was beginning to show, as Collingwood started giving away penalties.  Jamie Miller, Sultans No10, was in fine form, finding touch right in the corner.  Sadly though, the ensuing lineout didn't result a score. But, with 42 mins on the clock, another penalty saw Jamie Miller calmly convert it, Half Time (3-0).

A quick ‘encouragement chat' at half time was all that was needed to lift the boys to another level.  From the kick off, the lads took the game to Collingwood with renewed vigour.  Again, most of the play took place in Collingwood's half.  Although the Collingwood defence was superb, relentless attacks and some great running from the backs, notably ‘Cardiff' Rogers, Al Bodel and a new joiner to Sultan Tom Baker, at full back.  Some of the plays from the training ground were starting to work, fitness levels were good and in the last 10 minutes this became evident.

Another penalty, and again Jamie Miller stepped and converted it (6-0).  The score line saw a Collingwood team deliver a final flurry with about 5 minutes left, only some ferocious defence snuffed this out.  With Sultan on the charge they gained another penalty.  From the resulting lineout Sultan had Collingwood under pressure but failed capitalised.

Collingwood had a final push, but were instantly denied - Cardiff Rogers got hold of the ball and started a charge up the middle.  Some great support and passing to Taff Arndell, the openside flanker, who dodged and weaved and finally scored a well deserved try under the posts, Jamie once again converted (13-0) as the final whistle went. 


HMS Sultan took 20 players up to Arborfield, 4 of which were the ‘new guys', Chevy Chase, Nick Tacey, Jimmy Callaghan and Irish Watson.  The team was lacking experienced players in a few critical areas, notably at hooker and the usual No8, Tiny Richardson.  Chevy Chase was given a crash course in front rowing, and started the match as the hooker.  

It was fairly even play for around 7 minutes, from a REME penalty kick to the corner, which somehow managed to dribble over the line and one the REME chasers touched it down (5-0).  A few minutes later the REME had scored again after a few phases of play (10-0) after 10 minutes. As the REME played 'hit it up' rugby using their big runners.  However, the training that Sultan had put in pre-season was soon becoming evident: the defensive effort was huge.   Another area that the coaches worked on was reducing the over commitment to the breakdown.  The two ‘Taffs' of Taff Phillips and Taff Rogers had an immense game in the centres and effectively shut down any attack before it got going.  After the 30 minutes Sultan managed to cross the line, Jamie Miller scoring. Half Time (10-5).

The chat at half time proved that Sultan where more than up for this: the determination on their faces had to be seen to be believed and the second half saw them playing uphill and into the wind. Within 10 minutes, Dan Vantomme on the wing charged about 35m to score the team's second try.  Jamie Miller stepped up to kick the conversion (10-12)

The REME came back with renewed vigour, and this eventually won them a penalty just outside Sultans 22 this was converted (13-12).  The last 25 minutes saw some fine play from Sultan, with the ball being moved and some excellent running lines.

This resulted in winger Gaz Williams scoring another try.  Jamie Miller converted and put us at (13-19).  With 10 minutes to go, Scotty Scott, who had had a magnificent game at No 8, picked up from the scrum and scored Sultans 4th try (13-24). 

Jamie Miller was selected as ‘Man of the Match' by the REME and HMS Sultans choice of man of the match was Chevy Chase, who was a unanimous choice.  Not bad for a man who was only playing his third match ever!


Collingwood and Heron went toe to toe in an Eastern Region League Thriller on a breezy afternoon in Portsmouth.

The score line might reflect a one sided game but the match tells a different story altogether with both teams having an equal share of possession and territory.

With Both sides making early handling errors it was a stop start opening 5 minutes.  A scrum against the head then put Heron on the front foot on the Collingwood 10m line, and with the ball being put through the Heron's backs hands to full back AET (Jenks) Jenkins who beat 2 men to score underneath the posts which was then converted by AET Jones to give the Naval Air Station a 0-7 lead. 

As the Heron pack started to take control, a rolling maul from a lineout 5m from the Collingwood line saw Prop NA Downs score Herons 2nd try, converted by AET Jones (0-14).  Straight from kick off Heron used the ball intelligently and worked their way back into Collingwood 22m with a combination of penetrating runs from the forwards and backs which saw hooker Dougie Spencer score an unconverted try from 3m (0-19). 

The second half started well for Collingwood and saw them have a large share of the possession and territory, some good interchange amongst the backs saw Collingwood get inside the Heron's 22m, but with some great defence from Heron and counter rucking saw the ball turned over and put into touch at the half way mark.  From the next lineout out Heron recycled the ball and a miss move in the middle of the park saw left winger Andy Peel race over in the corner for another Heron try (0-24).  With both teams now looking to play expansive rugby in the last 20 minutes the ball was kept alive at every opportunity with only handling errors in key moments from both sets of players stopping any further points being put on the board. 

With Collingwood starting to run out of steam, Heron starting to go through the phases and following a well recycled ball which was worked out to winger Andy Peel crossed for his 2nd try of the game to put the final nail in Collingwood's coffin with the final score of the game (0-29).

With Herons relatively new look side (only 1 player played yesterday that started the Navy Cup Final for Heron last Season) it was a good turn out and result for the lads.  With standout performances from Hooker (Dougie) Spencer, Flanker (Rob) Gallagher, No 8 (Mady) Madigan, Scrum Half (Bob) Bond and Full back (Jenks) Jenkins.