East meets Royal in the Inverdale Challenge final
The Royal Navy Eastern Command team will face up to the Royal Marines Command team in the final of the Inverdale Challenge competition on Wednesday 30 January. Kick-off is at 1900 at Burnaby Road and entry is free so come along and cheer on your team.
The Inverdale Challenge competition sees the Command Teams representing RN East, RN West, RN North, the Royal Marines and the Fleet Air Arm, take part in a round-robin competition throughout the Autumn. Five points are awarded for a win, plus a bonus point for number of tries scored. The two teams with the highest points' score at the end of the group stage go through to the final.
The Royal Marines are no strangers to the Inverdale Challenge final, having won it 9 times in the previous 22 years. Whereas the RN East side have three victories to their name, the last one being in the year 2000! In the group stages the Royal Marines have won 3 of their matches, and were awarded 5 points for their final match in January when the RN West team failed to field a side. The RN East team have won 2 and lost 2. In the group stage match between the two sides back in November the Royal Marines were convincing winners, 62 - 24, so the bookies favourite for the 2019 title is probably the Royal Marines team. However, the RN East pack managed to dominate the Royals' forwards when they met at HMS Collingwood, until injury led to uncontested scrums, and we all love the under-dog, so come along to Burnaby Road on Wednesday to see what happens.
The HMS Nelson Volunteer Band will perform a marching display and play the National Anthem before the match. At the end, the John Inverdale trophy will be presented to the winning team by John Inverdale and his sister, Jendy Weekes. The trophy is named after their father, who as well as being a Surgeon Captain Dentist, was also a former Secretary of the Royal Navy Rugby Union. An entertaining evening of rugby is on the cards; good luck to both teams and may the best side win.
Images: Royal Navy Rugby Union © Mark Andrews and Keith Woodland