Cumberland chalks up Classic win
In addition to a full fixture against Al Ain Amblers, HMS Cumberland was invited to enter Al Ain Rugby 7s Classic Competition. The tournament was to be held at the home of Al Ain.
HMS Cumberland was drawn in a group with Dubai Harlequins and Dubai Wasps. The first game of the day was against Dubai Harlequins; the game started at a frantic pace with Cumberland settling in early to the quicker paced game and scored no less than three tries in quick succession. The second half began with Harlequins scoring first with a good breakaway try, however this was answered with a further two tries from Cumberland to make the final score 31-7.
The second game of the group saw HMS Cumberland v Dubai Wasps. Included in the Wasps team was former Samoa and London Wasps prop Trevor Leota; heavier than he was at his prime the ex International bounced off a few tackles and showed deft skills however the youth and power of the now gelling Cumberland squad produced a good all round performance with the game ending 57-0. This meant a top placed finish in the group lining up a semi final match v Dubai Exiles as the game now moved into the knockout phase.
Trevor Leota brushes off SLt Josh Gorst
A nervous start had Cumberland 5-0 up at the break after good pressure ended up with a score for AB CIS Taff Hughes. The nerves now behind them, the second half saw the experience of Cumberland's Navy Squad members ETME Dale Sleeman and Lt Nial Copeland really come to the fore as the scores came thick and fast, with the Cumberland zeroing the Exiles whilst amassing 24 points.
To the main pitch and the Classic Cup Final v Dubai Hurricanes, a very well-drilled and young side well used to the weather and conditions. A 10 minute first half brought a brace for Cumberland - one each for Copeland and ET ME Ryan Lovett - without reply from the Hurricanes but they were far from done. Two unanswered trys from them in the second period had the game tied at 14-14 and the tension rose. All of the bench used, the squad pulled together and great work and inter passing between ETME Gail Porter, PO AWT Taff Newall, SLt Josh Gorst and ETME Lilly Allan saw Lovett score the winner in the corner; Cumberland wining the AL Ain 7s and ETME Lovett awarded the ‘Player of the Tournament'.
ETME Ryan Lovett
This was not the only representation from Cumberland at this event and praise should be given to the Cumberland Social side that struggled in the early exchanges but persevered to reach the Bowl final. However, Leota's Dubai Wasps had too much for Cumberland who had fielded new blood with old to have an enjoyable day all round.
Back L to R: Dave Sibson (Coach), POAWT Speedy Carr, AB CIS Taff Hughes, Lt Niall Copeland,
Lt Johnny Campbell, ETME Lilly Allan, ETME Ryan Lovett.
Front L to R: POAWT John Newall, CMEM Matt Saunders, ETME Dale Sleeman, Capt Matt Williams RM,
ETME Ross Porter, SLt Josh Gorst.
Old Navy Stalwarts also playing during the Al Ain Amblers were Bob Armstrong (Al Ain Amblers) Tony Mulrain (Abu Dhabi Harlequins) & Lt Dusty Miller (Cumberland Social)