SEMI FINALS DAY AT THE INTER COMMANDSPortsmouth Command 16 - 23 Royal Marines
The Royal Marines entered the 2011/12 Inter-Commands Competition as the holders and with an opening game against home side Portsmouth Command. Having spent the first 2 days being able to watch all the teams, there was an expectation that the Marines would emulate their Naval Air Command counterparts and dispatch Portsmouth Command with ease.
Unfortunately for the Marines, Portsmouth had other ideas and from the kick-off, the Marines failed to deal with the high ball. From that point on they were under sustained pressure from Portsmouth. It was only after a Portsmouth knock-on that the Marines had some respite. It would be from the scrum that the Marines moved the ball some 20m and following a reset, pushed the Portsmouth pack to their own goal line. From this position the pack eventually gave way and the referee had no option but to award a penalty try which was converted by Mne (Nathan) Huntley. (0-7)
It didn't take the Portsmouth team long to level the score as ill discipline following a penalty resulted in the Corps being sent back another 10 metres. From the penalty the Portsmouth forwards drove into the heart of the Corps defence and a quickly recycled ball gave Navy Senior XV player CPO (Dane) Smallbone a chance to release his centres to great effect. As the Marines defence streamed across the pitch, another of the Portsmouth Navy Players, CPO (Cowboy) Johns, reversed the flow of play and gave ET Becker an almost free run in to score an unconverted try (5-7) after 20 minutes.
The game, although turning into a ‘crowd pleaser' due to its intensity, did little for the blood pressure of the Corps' coaching team as time after time the Marines kicked away possession or lost turn over ball in the tackle. However, on the 25th minute following a Portsmouth infringement for ‘coming in from the side', Huntley gave the Corps a 5-10 lead. Again discipline let the Marines down and AB Davis converted a penalty to bring the score to 8-10. Just before the end of the half, Portsmouth was reduced to 14 men following a ‘yellow card' for a repeated offence, from which Huntley converted the penalty: HT 8-13.
The second half was a brutal affair as no quarter was given by either team, which kept the Physios for both teams busy. An exchange of penalties saw the Corps go into the last few minutes with a 5 point lead (11-16). The final onslaught by Pompey saw them gain a lineout on the Corps 5m line. A poor throw-in gave the Corps a 5m scrum but unlike earlier engagements, the Portsmouth pack wheeled the Corps scrum through 90 degrees to win turn over the ball. The Portsmouth scrum held firm and released the blindside wing to score in the corner. The final kick of the game belonged to Davis whose conversion hit the upright. 16-16 full time.
10 minutes each way saw no score in the first period but following a rare visit to the Portsmouth half, Mne (Seta) Raumakita charged down a clearance kick and followed it up to score under the posts; converted by Huntley (16-23).
Portsmouth responded immediately and drove the Corps back into their own twenty two with some strong running by MA (Sam) Laid. However, the final pass was knocked on and at the same time the whistle sounded the victory for the Royal Marines.
Royal Marines Coach Sgt (Elvert) Williams said ‘this was a very young Corps side, many of whom have never played at this level or in this competition before, so this was on the face of it, a good result for them'. He went on to say of Portsmouth, ‘the Portsmouth team made us work hard for every ball, and the players are a credit to their ships and establishments. If their coaching team can keep this squad together, I'm sure they will be a force to be reckoned with next season.'
AB Joyd, AB Lache, LA Foreman, Lt Liffle, AB Sankbgbg, LCIS Johns, AB Ackerman, MA Laird, CPO Johns*, CPO Smallbone*, LStd Scyala, AB Mellor, ET Becker, AB Davis
Lt Smith, AB Laveking, AB Nelson, LET Mart, AB Currell, AB Johnstone, LCIS Tetur
Cpl O'Gorman, Mne Taubale, Cpl Mason, Cpl Holliday, L/Cpl Thurston, Mne Fox, L/Cpl Theohanldes, Mne Raumakiha, Mne Foster, Mne Huntley, Cpl Mills, Mne Graham, Mne Mclaren, Capt Glover, Capt Sayer
Mne Bernard, Mne Davies, Mne Warwick, L/Cpl Evans, Sgt Maddocks, Cpl Mills, Cpl Wadham.
Plymouth Command 6 - 32 Naval Air Command
Plymouth Command had faced the Naval Air Command (NAC) at the start of the week, with a 60 point victory going to the NAC. So facing them for a second time, playing their 3rd game in 3 days, everyone expected another large defeat for Plymouth. However, nobody told Plymouth as they took the game to the NAC from the kick-off. It was a penalty to NAC after 4 minutes that eased this pressure as AET (Jon) Humphries converted to put his side into the lead (0-3).
Still the Plymouth team would not give NAC any ground and made them work hard at every break-down and set piece. LPT Jenkins combined well with in-form winger ET (ME) Larkins to pressure the NAC at every opportunity. The Plymouth pack continued throughout the game to cause the more experienced NAC pack problems in the lineout.
After 11 minutes a good break down the right saw NAC wing AET Jenkins step inside the Plymouth cover defence to score under the posts. Humphries converted (0-10).
The pressure from Plymouth was beginning to tell as several clearance kicks were charged by the Plymouth backrow of Thompson, Puleston and Plymouth Capt, Hillman. After 15 minutes the NAC were reduced to 14 men after a ‘yellow card' and Jenkins converted the subsequent penalty (3-10). It was just before half time that Jenkins converted another penalty to close the gap to a very creditable 4 points (6-10).
From the kick off to start the second half, Plymouth infringed and gave the NAC some space which allowed NA Hunt to make them pay as he cut down the centre of the pitch. Only a good covering tackle by the Plymouth defence stopped a potential try, but in doing so gave away a penalty; Humphries converted (6-13).
It was not long before the NAC replacement NA Quarnatualio, taking 3 Plymouth players with him, scored a converted try (6-20). Plymouth continued to press the NAC at every opportunity and Jenkins was a constant source of annoyance to the NAC as he took every opportunity to exploit gaps in their defence.
However, it was to be NAC that exploited a gap on the blindside and skipper NA Priddey seized on the opportunity. Some good inter passing and support play provided Priddey with a scoring pass that went unconverted (6-25).
The final play of the game saw Lt (Andy) Vance cross the line to give the NAC a place in the final against the Royal Marines by a 26 point margin: final score 6-32.
This result now places Plymouth in the 3rd/4th place play-off match against Portsmouth Command.
Naval Air Command
NA Mason (Devonport), NA Priddey (Capt) (RNAS Culdrose), CPO Cowie (RNAS Culdrose), PO Pollard (RNAS Yeovilton), PO Mortenson (RNAS Yeovilton), NA Matabau (RNAS Culdrose), NA Vosstlya (RNAS Culdrose), AET Madigan (RNAS Yeovilton), LAET Cox (RNAS Culdrose), AET Humphries (RNAS Yeovilton), Mne Houghton (RNAS Yeovilton) PO Hunter (HMS Sultan), NA Hunt (RNAS Culdrose), AET Jenkins (RNAS Yeovilton), Lt Vance (HMS Sultan)
AET Metcalf (RNAS Yeovilton), AET Bardsley (RNAS Culdrose), AET Clay, LPT Platt (RNAS Culdrose), AET Jones (HMS Nelson), NA Quarnatualio (RNAS Culdrose), PO Thompson (RNAS Yeovilton).
MA Whitfield (Derriford), Mne Wilson (RMB Stonehouse), Mne Kenny (HMS Ocean), OC Woods (BRNC Dartmouth), Mne Stamforth (HMS Ocean), LET(ME) Thompson (HMS Vigilant), Mne Puleston (RMB Stonehouse), LET(ME) Hillman (Capt) (HMS Vigilant), POPT Fiddock (HMS Raleigh), LPT Jenkins (HMS Drake), ET(ME) Larkin (HMS Ocean), Lt Cdr Phillips (BRNC Dartmouth), LAET Rogers (HMS Sultan), Mne Talemaimaleya (HMS Ocean), POPT Way (HMS Bulwark)
ET(SM) Calwill (HMS Collingwood), LPT Hart (HMS Collingwood), PO Moult (HMS Ocean), ET (ME) Woods (HMS Torbay), Mne Main (HMS Ocean), AB Marsh (HMS Torbay).
3rd/4th Place Play Off:
1600 - Portsmouth Command v Plymouth Command - HMS Temeraire
1900 - Royal Marines v Naval Air Command - US Portsmouth RFC