Royal Navy Senior XV Defeat RAFThe first round of the 2011Inter Service Competition saw the RAF host the Royal Navy at Newbury RFC in Wednesday 13 April. The day has already seen success for the Royal Navy Rugby Union with an emphatic win by the Navy Mariners over the RAF Vultures 3-40. Unfortunately, the Navy Women were unable to repeat last year's win over the RAF losing 26-0.
This set the scene for the Royal Navy Senior XV to start their campaign to retain the Babcock Inter Service Trophy. The opening 20 minutes was a bruising affair as the RAF made it very clear that on their own ground they would be a force to be reckoned with. However, a well worked move following a lineout saw Cpl (Calum) MaCrae (CTCRM) exploit a gap in the RAF midfield and with the every present LOGS (CS) (Josh) Draunininu (HMNB Portsmouth) on his shoulder the Navy took a 7 point lead. It was MaCrae who 3 minutes later joined Josh on the score sheet to pick up the Navy's 2nd try, Captain POAET (Dave) Pascoe (771 NAS, RNAS Culdrose) converted 0-14.
The RAF received a triple bonus as the Navy were firstly reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes, then gave the RAF replacement stand-off an opportunity to get the first RAF points on the board 3-14. Before losing stand-off CPOET (WE) (Wayne) Johns (HMS Liverpool) to a mouth injury which brought Mne (Scott) Llewellyn (CLR) on as his replacement.
Lt (Niall) Copeland RN (HMS Collingwood)a late replacement for Capt Stu Mclaren RM (RAF Halton DMOC) due to a short notice operational deployment scored the 3rd try of the night and the last of the first half 3-19.
The second half started with the Navy inflicting a quick score on the RAF from a lineout and ensuing play Cpl (Grieg) Barden (HMNB Portsmouth) was driven over the RAF try line for an unconverted try 3-24. This was followed 4 minute later as Llewellyn score his 2nd try of the night converted by Pascoe 3-31. The Navy coaching team started to implement the changes by replacing the whole front row which gave SLt (Tom) Blackburn RN (HMS Sultan) his first cap. These changes would make little difference to the Navy style of play as Draunininu scored his 2nd converted try of the night following a passage of open running rugby 3-38.
After a series of penalties on the RAF 5m line, the referee lost patient and as the RAF collapsed a driving maul and awarded the Navy a penalty try 3-45. With most of the Navy replacements on the last to make an appearance and earn his first cap was LPT (Gareth) Cadmore (HMS Raleigh). The evening was rounded off by the man who had started the scoring as Draunininu completed his hat-trick making the final score 3-52.
The RAF now move on the play the Army at Aldershot on Wednesday 20 April whilst the Navy travel to North Wales to play Rygbi Gogledd Cymru on Wednesday 27 Apr before the final games of the 2011 Babcock Inter-Service Championship on Saturday 7 May at Kneller Hall and Twickenham.
POET(WE) D Smallbone (HMS Collingwood), ET(ME) J Marlin (HMS Chatham), Cpl C MaCrae (CTCRM)(Rep Mne J Stephen(CTCRM), ET(Me) D Sleeman (HMS Cumberland), Logs (CS) J Drauniniu (HMNB Portsmouth), POET(WE) W John (HMS Liverpool)(Rep Cpl S Llewellyn (Cdo Logs RM)), POAET D Pascoe (Capt) (771 NAS RNAS Culdrose), AB(WS) W Cairns (CFPS)(Rep AET G Jones (RNAS Yeovilton) ,Cpl G Barden (HMNB Portsmouth)(Rep LPT G Cadmore (HMS Raleigh)), MA S Laird (HMS Collingwood), POAET M Cormack (854 NAS, RNAS Culdrose), Lt (Niall) Copeland RN (HMS Collingwood),AB M Roberts (HMS Bulwark)(Rep POAET J Court (829 NAS RNAS Culdrose)), NA B Priddey (RNAS Culdrose)(Rep Capt T Evans-Jones RM (LWC Warminster)) , NA K Mason (845 NAS RNAS Yeovilton)(Rep SLt T Blackburn RN (HMS Sultan)