HMS Seahawk at RNRU 7s Match

A try for Seahawk
The winning Seahawk team
Chris Warner brushes off the opposition
Seahawk v Sultan
Ben Priddey in attack against HMS Heron

HMS Seahawk clinched their first Royal Navy Rugby 7s title in recent years on Wednesday 7th June. Seahawk travelled to Yeovil RFC with a strong side full of 7s experience. Seahawk found themselves in a group with 40 Commando, HMS Somerset and HMNB Clyde. The management had a tough choice of who to select for the first game and decided to start strong.

First up for the air men was 40 Commando who had a very direct style of play. LPT Priddey found himself on the wrong side of the bounce of the ball as he ended up on his back much to the delight of the crowd. But the faith placed in the players was rewarded as they rose to the challenge defeating the marines from Taunton 26-5.

Next up were HMNB Clyde. The team decided to let the non-specialists have a run out. To be fair to Clyde they attacked Seahawks slower players and ruffle their feathers with a few moves that Hulk Hogan would have been proud of. Nothing seemed to stick for the men from Cornwall and frustration set in as HMNB Clyde ran out deserved winners 21-0.

Time to regroup! The Seahawk lads knew what was required of them after the previous performance and they were determined to deliver. Unfortunately for HMS Somerset, Seahawk seemed to find their stride as the 7s style that Seahawk take pride in playing became evident, with AETs Holland, Jane and Notman all scoring tries. Seahawk ran out 45-0 winners and set the tone for the rest of the tournament.

With that win Culdrose topped Pool C on points difference with both HMNB Clyde and 40 Commando finishing on 11 points equal with HMS Seahawk. Seahawk earned a bye into the quarter finals where they would meet HMS Sultan.

Against Sultan Seahawk ran out the winners 34 – 0 with some strong performance from the Seahawk backs, AET Jane picking up a hat-trick and the pick of the tries coming from AET Warner who showed an impressive turn of pace along with a feat of deceptive finesse to finish under the posts.

In the semi-final Seahawk found themselves against the Royal Marines of Commando Logistics Regiment whose team appeared to also be filled with a wealth of 7 experience. 2 early tries from Seahawk set the tone as CLR rolled on the more experienced players in their ranks to chase the result. AET Loydall showed great game management pulling the strings to ease the pressure allowing LAET Nichol to crash over several players to score a try to effectively seal the result. To CLR’s credit they fought to the bitter end and were rewarded with a score of their own in the dying moments, with Seahawk running out victors 26 – 7 and they progress deservedly to the final.

The final was the battle of the air stations with the opposition being HMS Heron. A try from AET Notman who was having a fantastic afternoon, set the team off on the right foot. AET Loydall had another impressive game. LPT Priddey cut a line that would be on any players highlight reel slicing through the Heron defence deep inside his own half, seeing him go the length of the pitch for a try between the sticks. With continued breaks from AET Holland putting Heron under huge pressure, AET Cater and LAET Saberton controlled the tempo and HMS Seahawk become champions winning the final 26-0.

Words by Kye Beasley
Images Royal Navy Rugby Union © John Walton