'Déjà Vu' in the Navy Cup Final
For those of you who can remember back to 2014, Britannia Royal Naval College were facing up to HMS Seahawk in the Navy Cup final. Fast forward two years and the same two teams will meet again at the Rectory on Wednesday evening. Back then it was BRNC who were victorious, and following a year's absence from the competition, are back in title contention. HMS Seahawk, who have dominated the Navy Cup with 3 wins in the past 5 years, will be looking for revenge - and to retain their 2015 title.
It has been an interesting lead up to the final this season. BRNC have played some challenging opponents and put in the hard graft. Their first round opponents were HMS Heron who put in a spirited performance, going down 32 - 22. In the quarter final CTCRM were less of a challenge with the Navy side beating the Marines 39 - 15 before the Dartmouth team sealed their place in the final with a 17 - 0 win over HMS Collingwood. More recently they have been keeping in shape with a run out against the Medics last week.
Meanwhile the West Country team, through no fault of their own, find themselves in the final without having played a Navy Cup match. Awarded a bye in the first round, their opponents in the quarter final were unable to field a team (due to the majority of Devonport based ships being overseas with the Joint Expeditionary Force (Maritime) (JEF(M)) deployment this autumn. However this hasn't stopped them searching out challenging teams to play. With a wealth of rugby clubs in the local region, the Seahawk team managers, LET Guy Pallet and LH Dan Lowe, have organised fixtures against St Austell and Hayle. The conditions in the West Country have been less than ideal but a strong player base has developed from which to select the team for Wednesday. Guy will unfortunately not be there to see his side endeavour to retain their title: he is rehabilitating at Headley Court following an operation after an injury sustained playing for the Mariners (the RNRU Veterans team) last season. Get well soon Guy - we hope to see you back soon.
The two sides will travel to the Devonport Services ground, The Rectory, for a 1900 kick off, entry is free and spectators are welcome so come along and cheer on your team - may the best side win!
Images - Royal Navy Rugby Union / © Mark Andrews
Crown Copyright 2016 / © Craig Keating and POPhot A'Barrow