April 2011

Navy Side to open its defence of Inter Services title

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Following the hard fought win over Marine Nationale, it must have been very tempting to select an unchanged team for the opening Inter Service encounter against the Royal Air Force, at Newbury, on Wed 13 Apr. But due to injury, professional commitments and suspension the Royal Navy Senior XV will be without new cap ET(WE)(SM) (Ian) Cooper (HMS Ambush), SLt (Andy) Vance RN (BRNC) and Cpl (Gareth) Evans (539 ASRM). However, the navy team has been bolstered by the return of POAET (Marsh) Cormack (854 NAS, RNAS Culdrose).  Marsh deployed to Afghanistan and only returned to the UK on 6 Apr.  Having the backing of his squadron Commanding Officer, Air Engineering Officer and most im...

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Combined Coaching for Cup Chasers

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On Mon 4 Apr the Royal Navy Senior XV undertook a joint coaching afternoon with the Brockenhurst College Rugby Team. Both teams are currently fully focussed on chasing silverware and both are potentially 2 games away from their goal. Naturally for the Navy players the focus is on the Royal Air Force in Apr before meeting the Army in May. The desire clearly to retain their Inter Service crown. For the Brockenhurst players their focus was on their national schools semi final against a Preston team this week, with the desire to play in the final, to be held at Newbury RFC, in Army Navy week. (Thu 5 May)   The non contact sessions, conducted under the watchful eyes of Navy Coaches Lt C...

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Testing Debut for New Caps

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Very often when reading that a player has come off the bench in the last minute of a game, the reader is entitled to view it as a sentimental substitution. Well that is not always the true reading of the situation. On Thu Navy Rugby gave debuts, and first caps, to Lt Nial Copeland RN (HMS Collingwood) and Capt Tom Evans-Jones RM (LWC Warminster) in the 4 th min of stoppage time. However, it was far from an easy debut for either of them. With the score at 17-10 in the Royal Navy's favour but with only 6 forwards on the field the Navy had to defend a scrum on their goal line. Despite the Navy having had much of the play they had been unable to shake off a tenacious Marine Nationale side th...

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Mariners v HMS Heron

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  The final game prior to the Inter services saw the planned Bridgewater and Albion fixture replaced by a HMS Heron. With many players still vying for key positions, the game was always going to be difficult for HMS Heron to match the Mariners mental and physical intensity. Initial linking between backs and forwards was good, demonstrating that the team had finally absorbed the Head Coaches mantra of playing to the team strengths and keeping possession of the ball.  Great pick and drives led to 3 near misses within the first 5 mins. Finally, after continued pressure a scrum 5m out led to a try by the ever present and rampant Lee Norris (Chicksands) 0-5 Mariners.    ...

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History is Made at Brickfields

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  The deteriorating weather conditions did not dampen the enthusiasm of a home crowd that witnessed the Royal Navy take on the French Navy (la Marine Nationale) at Plymouth Albion RFC on Thursday evening. This was the annual contest between the 2 naval sides, fittingly nicknamed ‘le crunch', battling it out to win the Babcock Trophy.    This would be the end of a day of firsts for Royal Navy Rugby. Earlier that day, the Royal Navy women faced a French Women's rugby team for the first time, playing at HMS Drake. This was a game of 10s, due to the French women not being able to play a full 15 a side game. However, making good use of their experienced 7s players and ...

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