Navy Referees take Charge of Final Match of the U23 Inter Service Championship

RAF v Army U23s

The final round of the Inter Service U23 Championship was held at RAF Halton. Going into the match the trophy was still open to all three teams given various permutations. The pressure was on the Navy Officials to produce a faultless display so that it was the rugby that was the showcase and not the officials. The strong team was led by Lt Cdr (Dunx) McClement who was ably assisted on the touchline by Lt (Jane) Pizii and Simon Aldridge with Welshy Edwards keeping control of the benches and sin bins. For Dunx it was his first taste of Inter Service rugby as a referee, he has however more than proved himself by some very strong performances in the National Leagues North of the Border in Scotland and was ready for a fierce encounter.

The game was played on a fantastic December afternoon with the pitch thawing out just in time! The blue sky and almost zero breeze provided virtually perfect conditions for an open and attacking game of rugby. The RAF started well and penalties were traded but it was the Army who ended up narrowly in front at the end of the first half with the only try of the period. 

The second half started as fiercely as the first one had ended but both teams behaved themselves at the tackle and contact area. Whilst highly competitive the game had only one incident of foul play resulting in a red card for the Army No 8 for ‘reckless use of the boot'. It was this reduction to 14 that seemed to galvanise the Army though and they improved their performance running in 3 tries and ending winners of both the game and the 2012 U23 Inter-Service Championship.

Of the game Dunx said "It was great to work with Si and Jane again and to be able to expose Welshy to this level of game. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of my first Inter-Service game in the middle and felt that we let the players have the limelight".

If you feel you have what it takes to become a referee and have "the best seat in the house" from anything from ship's to international matches, the Royal Navy Refereeing Society can help you along the path and get you started. If you are interested in taking up the whistle please contact Cdr Andy Coles on 01752 555313 or by email at


Lt Cdr Dunx McClement (FOST) awards the army their final try. 

© Image copyright of Alligin Photography