INTER COMMAND FINAL 2013 - THE INVERDALE TROPHY
Weds night saw the culmination of the Royal Navy Inter Command Competition with the final between the holders the Naval Air Command (NAC) and last year's losing finalists the Royal Marines. This year's competition saw a new format with each of the 5 Command Teams playing each other and the top 2 going through to the final.
Earlier in the competition the Marines met the NAC at RNAS Yeovilton and had lost 17-0. They hoped that this game would see a change in their fortunes.
The Commands were all playing to get their hands on the Inverdale Trophy so named after former Royal Navy Surgeon Captain John Inverdale.
The radio and television broadcaster John Inverdale, son of Captain John Inverdale would be on hand to present the trophy. However, not before John was awarded with a RNRU Tie and Cuff links by RNRU President Vice Admiral P A Jones CB.
The first half saw some excellent open running rugby played at a high tempo with the Marines have a great deal of the procession. However, it was not until 14 mins of the game that Mne ‘Adz' Baird (CTCRM) opened the scoring with a well work try, Capt J Buckley (CTCRM) adding the extra points 7-0.
Following an intervention by the touch judge the NAC found themselves down to 14 players for 10 mins. However, within minutes the Marines were also reduced to 14 following an illegal tackle.
The final score of the half came from Buckley as he found the target and increased the Marines lead to 10-0 at half time.
Mne Naulago (40 Cdo RM) had been a thorn in the NAC side all-night, his aggressive defence eventually paid dividends as NAC forced a pass which Naulago intercepted on the Marines line to score an unconverted try 15-0.
This should have been the match for the Marines, but the NAC had different ideas as they pressured the Marines into to a string of mistakes and penalties that allowed AET M Horton (RNAS Culdrose) to convert 2 penalties in quick succession. 15-6.
Marine skipped Mne ‘Theo' Theophanides (CTCRM) touched down to seal the game with only a couple of mins to go following some good work by the forwards. 20-6.
However, the final score was to belong to Flanker Mne Vakalutukali (40 Cdo RM) who charged down a clearance kick, collected the ball and trotted over the line for a final score of 25-6.
The Inverdale Trophy was presented by Mr John Inverdale to the victorious skipper Theophanides.
This is not the last rugby in Portsmouth as on Wed 3 April the RN Senior XV KO 6pm and earlier in the day the RN Women KO 1.45pm face the Marine Nationale at Burnaby Road, Portsmouth. Free Entry and Great Rugby!