Monthly Archives: May 2012

Mother Nature – By Land, Sea and Air

Red Deer – Amongst the Bluebells and Ferns on Sleat

The fledglings mentioned in the last blog have flown and the whole Sleat Peninsular is alive with bird song and the vibrancy of new life.  Bluebells cover vast swathes of the Sleat hillsides and in the Sound I have enjoyed watching both a Minke Whale and two different pods of dolphins.

Common Dolphin

The largest pod was over 40 strong and spent a good couple of hours just off the Aird headland fishing and playing.  A little too far out for the camera but hopefully you can see enough to appreciate the wonderful sight it was.

Common Dolphin – Sleat

The photographs were taken from the house so hopefully in the near future I will be able to nip down to the shore line and get much closer.

I have also been distracted by the swallows in the garden including the youngsters that aren’t quite as agile as their parents.  I have tried to practice my camera work by taking shots of them in flight and it is not just the young birds that are less than agile!

Swallow Photography the easy way

 

Swallow in Flight – many more images are on the cutting room floor!

Fairy Pools – Glen Brittle

Sgurr An Fheadain

The distinct peak of Sgurr An Fheadain provides a fantastic backdrop to the famous Fairy Pools.  They are the scar through the centre of the image above.  I decided to head over to Glen Brittle to scout the location.  With low cloud the backdrop was unfortunately truncated and certainly not as viewed in March (see above).  Also the lack of rain through April and May has left all the burns very low.

Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye

Even so the crystal clear water and contrasting rock colours produced some excellent images.  In fact the low water allowed a different perspective of the rock formations, normally below the water line, to be closely observed.

Whilst we were walking in, a Golden Eagle soared majestically in Coir a Mhadaidh, too far away for a photo, but even so a beautiful creature just to observe.  However far closer to us was a solitary frog that I disturbed as I crossed the burn much to my wife’s delight (an avid frog fan).  A quick swim in the burn, a pause on a rock and then back to the edge of the burn showed the grace these amphibians have in the water and also their camouflage.  This frog is a total contrast to the exotic ones reared by Clayton Patilla and available to view here.

Frog on a rock – mid burn

Swimming to the bank

Tucked away until danger passes

Even though there was very little water flowing there was still enough water to hopefully do justice to another example of Skye’s wonderful landscape.

Waterfall Glen Brittle

Congratulations

Congratulations must go to three of the hotels on Sleat that won at the recent Scottish Hotel Awards.  For those seeking a perfect weeding location then it is clear that the Duisdale House Hotel is the one for you.  Its sister hotel, the Toravaig won a gold medal for hospitality whilst just down the road Lady Claire Macdonald’s hotel, Kinloch Lodge, won no less than four awards.  Its list of awards included best breakfast for a small hotel so I will have to see if they do breakfast for non residents as I have found a lovely spot just behind the hotel to view winter sunrise over Loch Houn.  It sounds like the perfect start to the day, sunrise over Knoydart followed by some of Marcello Tully’s michelin starred cuisine for breakfast.

Sleat may be small but it has certainly got all the attractions.

Sunrise over Knoydart

 

Scouting for Locations

Loch a Ghlinne and Coille Dalavil

Have spent a couple of days getting to grips with my new location and seeking out suitable photographic locations. So far I am only exploring sites on the Sleat Pennisular and already I feel a little like Charlie on his first visit to Willie Wonka’s factory. Taking time to stop and explore Sleat should be a must on any itinerary as not to do so would mean you would miss out on so much and not just the castle at Armadale.

The glen, pictured above, was simply stunning and I do not know if it was due to the lack of rain through April but some of the colours in the tree leaves were almost autumnal.

A view across to the Cullin, Loch Coruisk and Blaven

 

Are You My Mother?

I couldn’t help thinking about my own childhood growing up on Dr Seuss’ famous books including the Cat in the Hat and of course ‘Are You My Mother?’ when I came across these young fledglings.

Mum was disturbed and for a very short while they were still calling for food before realising the threat, ducking down back in to the nest and remaining motionless and quiet.  With me gone mum returned with their next feed.

Later in the day I also came across the Heron fledgling below that had not long left the nest.

The nest was high up in a pine tree at the centre of a small coppice.  Again there was an absolute cacophony when mum was around and helping out but when she left the young ball of feathers remained absolutely motionless on the branch and was quite hard to spot.  With mum not far away and looking on I deliberately didn’t wish to get too close or stay for long.

Climbing Cattle

Wot no ropes!?

Caught my eye as I walked past as I found it amusing to see a cow perched on the side a small scarp a metre or so off the ground.  Keeps her ‘shiny shoes’ out the muck!  I am sure if this catches on the someone will insist that they start wearing helmets.

Watching the World Go Sailing By

The Sound of Sleat is definitely getting a little busier as the days lengthen.  Many more fishing vessels out and also more yachts going by including this beautiful gaff rigged one.

Finally the Hebridean Princess has been flitting between the islands.  A week on board is not cheap but she is a lovely little cruise ship, so far removed from the larger vessels operating out of the major ports.

Hebridean Princess

Diamonds Aren’t Forever

A Tribute to Josh Drauniniu

A young Josh at Dubai in 2007

I blame the chinese and their Yin and Yang philosophy.  You see in the same week that Navy Rugby’s Josh Drauniniu announced his retirement from Service rugby due to his leaving the Service, HMS Diamond was successfully launching her first sea viper missile.  The world and the Royal Navy remained in balance, on one hand it gained a state of the art weapon system known for its agility, pace and fire power and on the other hand Navy Rugby lost the same.

Offlloads

Heavily Marked - always

Balanced Running

Power

Many Tries

and his fair share of tackles

As a tribute to Josh and his contribution to Navy Rugby since his debut in 2004 I have added him to the Navy Rugby Great Players which can be found by clicking here.  He is joined in the list by Greg Barden who the same week announced his retirement from all rugby.  Both served Navy Rugby extremely well throughout their careers.

Great Memories - Thank You

A Budgie in Sheep’s Clothing

Chris Budgen

 

I know that Chris Budgen has been a thorn in the side to Navy Rugby for far too long but it was good to see that the Barbarians marked his contribution to Service and rugby in general by selecting him for his BaaBaa debut against Loughborough Students.  A match report can be found by clicking here.  I am sure that Budgie does not describe his try as a flop, perhaps he is perfecting his Ashtonesque swallow dive for future tries!  Congratulations to a deserved accolade and any time you wish to retire from Service rugby feel free!!

The Sharks Fixture List

The Sharks fixture list is now up on the Navy Rugby Union website.  They start at the Wild Boar Sevens on Sunday 3 June.  The tournament has a good mix of local sides and specialist sevens team and certainly provides some great rugby for those of you looking to get away from Diamond Jubilee celebrations.  The ground is not far off Junction 4 of the M3 at Eversley Cross.  I am sure the Sharks, under new coach, Sam Cuff will welcome the support.

Sam Cuff - New Coach of Navy Sharks

Tenth Anniversary of Women’s IS Rugby

The announcement this week of the fifth head coach for RN(W), Bali Salisbury, opens a new chapter of Women’s rugby in the Royal Navy.  He will take the side in to its second decade of Women’s Inter Service rugby where hopefully the steady success of the last few years will continue.

Paula Bennett-Smith, former captain, then coach and then lured back to playing

To mark the tenth anniversary there is a special Women’s XV selected by Paula Bennett-Smith and is now on the Invitational Select page.

Some of the high lights over the ten years have been:
 

 

 

 

First Inter Service Win

2005 at Newbury saw the RN(W) secure there first Inter Service victory with a tense and hard fought victory over the RAF(W) 10-5.  Since that first victory honours have been even between the two sides with the Navy recording victories again in 2006, 2010 and 2012.

First Cap Awarded

Pam Williams, most capped player

Following the 2011 Royal Navy Rugby Union Annual General Meeting it was decided to award caps to the RN(W).  There was a qualification stipulated of 6 matches and the count back went only as far as 2008.  At the 2012 Command Tournament Finals, for the Inverdale Trophy, television and radio presenter John Inverdale award the first Navy Women’s cap to former captain Vic Percival.  By the end of the 2012 Inter Service season the RN(W) had 13 capped players with Pam Williams leading the way on 3 and Lavinia Vakuruivalu been the thirteen recipient.

First Coaches

Wendy Briggs, one of the first women’s coaches in Navy Rugby

Three Navy Women players qualified as coaches.  Wendy Briggs, carried off with a playing career ending injury in that first win of 2005, went on to forge a successful career in sport rehabilitation and is part of the Mariners support staff.  In 2012 she won the coveted Soapy Watson trophy.  Paula Bennett-Smith started to coach the RN(W) side before replacing Nicky Dent as a blood replacement and returning to playing.  Lou Clarke coached HMS Manchester successfully on her last two deployments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Internationals

Charlie Lewis, RN(W), Combined Services (W) and Scotland

Two players have represented both the RN(W) and their country.  Flanker Charlie Lewis was selected by Scotland in 2011 and centre Juliana Straker represented and captained Trinidad and Tobago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What will the next ten years bring?

“I think it’s crackers”

Aaron Moon - Navy U23 Player 2007/2008

“I think it’s crackers that they are doing the challenge to be honest. I think they could have done something a bit easier but is nice to know that they still care and that they want to do something because of what happened to me.” These are the words of former Royal Marine and Navy Rugby U23 player Aaron Moon on hearing the news that his former head coach, Lt Cdr “Doc” Cox  and Lt Ed Moss-Ward were putting together a team to complete the 24 hour 3 peak challenge of Ben Nevis, Scarfell Pike and Snowdon.

 

Doc Cox is used to doing things that are seemingly crackers.  With three tours of Afghanistan already completed he has seen his fair share of the problems that the country has, and is, enduring.

Doc Cox - Former RN U23 Head Coach, Senior XV Coach and currently Mariners coach (and sometimes player)

However he has also witnessed the great pride, determination and fortitude that runs through Afghan life.  With the support of Navy Rugby and the SRU he helped provide the Afghanistan Rugby Union with kit as well as providing hands on coaching.  He, along with the determination of people like Afghan Rugby CEO Asad Ziar, is ensuring that rugby football establishes a stronger foothold throughout the country.  How many games in England, as seen with the match between Kabul and Paghman, would take place in 50cm of snow?  The fledgling Afghanistan national side recently played its first ‘test’ series in the UAE where they lost the three match series 2-1 to a vastly more experienced team.

Snow Rugby - Kahbul v Paghman

 

It is this bond of friendship through rugby that continues to drive Doc not to forget the young man he coached in 2008 as a player of immense promise and who later that season was severely injured when his vehicle was hit by an IED.  Since then Aaron has shown great courage in his own journey to rehabilitate himself.  In Doc’s own words:

 

“Last year Aaron decided to have a selective amputation, after years of pain and agony.  The personal cost he has paid in giving for his country, just like so many other servicemen and women, is the driver behind the challenge.”

 

Tom Blackburn, current Navy tight head prop and former playing colleague of Aaron is used to challenges!

Doc has been joined by Ed Moss-Ward, another Afghan veteran, who has been “too close for comfort’ to the devastating effect that IED’s can have .  Together they have put together a group of Aaron’s former coaches and playing colleagues for the challenge which will take place over the 14th / 15thJuly.  The three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales, along with the drive in between, within 24hours is a taxing challenge but the three worthy causes will no doubt help them through when the tiredness and blisters begin to take their toll.   At the time of writing Doc and Ed will be joined by three of Aaron’s former playing colleagues in Matt Kitson, Cinders Ellor and Navy prop Tom Blackburn.  The team, like so many of the Afghan deployments, is tri-service in nature.  Joining the naval contingent will be Phil Kelly from the Royal Air Force and the Army’s Ian Hastings who serves with 2 RIFLES, a unit that has endured more than most in multiple tours of the region.

Will Cairns a playing colleague of Aaron another who went on to play Senior rugby will be one of the drivers for the challenge.

A fourth former playing colleague is Navy player Will Cairns who along with John White, Team Manager when Aaron played, will be helping out with the logistics and doing the driving.  Medical cover will be provided by Mel White who was a trainee physiotherapist with the U23 team at the time.  Whilst I, in a moment of weakness, have agreed to take part as I was DoR when Aaron represented Navy Rugby.  It is hard to complain about dodgy knees when you hear about Aaron’s tales and also reflect that he is but one of many of our colleagues who have returned to the UK with serious and life effecting injuries.

Aaron injuries were, like far too many of his colleagues, horrific.  In February 2009 after his first week on operations Aaron had the misfortune of an improvised explosive device detonating directly beneath him.  The blast left him with a ruptured spleen and multiple broken and fractured bones including both knee caps, hip, heel, pelvis, back and shoulder.  Aaron’s treatment remains ongoing and in the last week of  May he will be undertaking further surgery on his leg.  However though he knows he will not be fit enough to manage the three peaks he remains determined to join the group on their last climb and celebrate with them at the top of Snowdon…………..

 

And he thinks Doc is crackers!

 

The scar of the Pyg Track up the eastern flank of Snowdon highlights the challenge that Aaron is taking on.

 

The Challenge

 

The views from the top of Ben Nevis are hard earned but spectacular

The three peaks challenge takes in Scotland’s highest peak, Ben Nevis (1344m), followed by the highest peak in England, Scafell Pike (978m) and finishes at the highest point in Wales. Snowdon (1085m).

Looking up a Scafell Pike from the Wast Water start

 

How You Can Help

 

Many of you will have seen from the advert that was carried earlier this season on the Royal Navy Rugby Union website that the three peak challenge is being undertaken to raise money for BLESMA, Rugby for Heroes and the RNRMC Charity.  Doc and Ed have set themselves a challenging target of £10,000.  If everyone who regularly reads my blogs donates the price of a pint then they will easily make their goal.  Online donations can be made by going to:

http://www.justgiving.com/RNRU-3-Peaks-Challenge

Some Statistics

(Taken from the MOD.uk website)

For the period 1 January 2006 to 31 March 2012:

Centrally available records show that:

  • 1,884 UK military and civilian personnel were admitted to UK Field Hospitals and categorised as Wounded in Action.
  • 3,802 UK military and civilian personnel were admitted to UK Field Hospitals for disease or non-battle injuries.
  • 273 UK personnel were categorised as Very Seriously Injured from all causes excluding disease.
  • 276 UK personnel were categorised as Seriously Injured from all causes excluding disease.
  • 5,631 aeromedical evacuations have taken place for UK military and civilian personnel injured or ill in Afghanistan.

Every Blog Must Start Somewhere

Many of the regular visitors to my site will already know that after more than twenty five years in the Royal Navy Tania and I have decided to relocate North of Portsmouth.  After extensive research we hit upon the small community of Aird which is the southern most village on the Isle of Skye – so we remain southerners really.  Last week saw our plans for the house go for planning consent and so hopefully the restoration will start soon and we can fully move up.

Winter proved to be wet and windy

Many visits over the winter proved that the house needed some work particular in the insulation department!  The location however is simply stunning whatever the weather!

Early May Springs to Life

Having missed the whole of April due to various commitments (see Rugby section) we managed to get up for two weeks at the beginning of May and were greeted by a glorious period of settled weather and the wonders of nature as Spring rejuvenates herself all around us.

Young lamb in the paddock with more arriving day by day.

His work was done a while back! Time to recharge the batteries.

Very young calf suckling from mum

This calf was spotted when out walking.  It has yet to be tagged and the coat was still damp from its birth.  A little unsteady on its feet but greedily feeding.  On our return mother and calf both dozing in the sunshine.

Vibrant new leaf of gnarled old oak

'Starbucks' - Sleat Style

At the Point of Sleat there is a lovely sandy beach, great views of Eigg, Rum, the Cullin and Ardnamurchan and a very remote community of some three houses. Who, as you can see, are happy to cater for the first of the season’s visitors. Flapjack highly recommended.  Honesty box for tea, coffee, juice and home made flapjack.

Sometimes you just have to pinch yourself. Sleat, Isle of Skye in early May

Mariners Endure Cruel Defeat

With two games being played simultaneously it was hard to follow both and though I spent most of my time watching the RN(W) side it was clear that the mariners fixture was a thrilling affair with a twist worthy of Hitchcock himself at the end.

With Paul Clark out Manoa took on the kicking duties

and though he missed with his first..............

he landed the second to give the Mariners an early 3 point lead.

Mariners driving play suggested that they could extend their lead and they put the Army under a good deal of pressure. However the Army weathered the onslaught and gradually, as the half ended, began to get a foot hold in the game.

Defiant Mariners defence kept the Army out but just before half time they scored a decisive try for a 5-3 lead.

Having kicked another penalty to regain the lead 6-5 the Mariners worked like Trojans to protect their lead.

The Army kept exerting pressure but the Navy held firm. Then as the game was entering its final stages the dam broke. An Army score under the posts to snatch the win. A second minutes later as the Navy desperately looked to get the score back only served to add salt to a very open and sore wound. 19- 6 was not a fair reflection on the game.

 

Also Seen at the Game

Just because he is called 'Doc' doesn't mean he should ever be given a medical bag!

Wendy Briggs deserved winner of the Soapy Watson Memorial Trophy

A wet and cold Kneller Hall is not the best place to be a replacement.

No, no and a thousand times no. Gaz if you are reading this the answer is still No!

leave the kicking to others

Manoa chasing the game with a deft kick out of defence

The set piece was a fierce battle all day and the Navy couldn't quite get the go forward they enjoyed against the RAF but the forwards gave their all and will take a while to recover.

 

Honours Board

I have updated the Honour Page with all the 2012 award winners and also action photos of them.   This can be viewed here.  If you wish to see what the trophies look like and the presentations then go to the RNRU website and for the Soapy Watson Memorial Trophy (Wendy Briggs) and Roger Sherratt Trophy (Loz Morton) click here.  For Leigh Merrick’s Cossack Sword (Sam Laird) and the award dear to my heart, the Proud Heritage Exciting Future Trophy (Nathan Huntley) click here.

Proud Heritage Answer

You will recall that the question was:

Which Navy Player first played at Twickenham as a sub lieutenant but was also capped as a captain?

The answer:

Tom Glover - played as a Naval Sub Lieutenant for Combined Services U23 at Twickenham in 2007 (?) and was capped as a Captain Royal Marine in Toulon 2012 before winning further caps in the Inter Services against both the Army and the RAF

you’ll be a Man, my Son

Dave Pascoe - thoughts on next year.

There is one time and place at Twickenham when no captain wishes to be first – up the steps at the end of the match to receive sympathy and medals from the RFU President.  After again producing an eighty minute battling performance that fate once more fell to Navy captain Dave Pascoe.  I am sure he was reflecting on what was and what needs to be.

65302 spectators filled Twickenham stadium with another record Army Navy crowd but long before this game finished it was over.  Sport can be a very exposed place at times like this and any hurt felt by spectators does not compare to that felt by the players.

My title is taken from Rudyard Kipling’s most famous of poems ‘If”.  For the players I would suggest the penultimate line of the second verse best sums up Saturday but the poem also gives direction to the way forward.  The young promise that has proved exciting to those of us who follow your exploits throughout the season could do a lot worse than take heed of Kipling’s wise words –  if in rugby terms they wish to progress from boys to men.

Big Boots to Fill

Josh at Twickenham in the Navy Blue Shirt for the last time

Josh, along with the Army’s Mark Lee, were gracing Twickenham for the last time.  Both have graced the hallow turf with dignity and humility.  For Navy supporters there has not been a player in recent times who has produced the anticipation quite like Josh.  Who will forget his exploits of 2007 when his two tries, one from his own 22m, nearly turned the match.

Who will replace Josh?

Seti?

Ben?

Aaron?

Jon?

Andy Kellett, the man with the problem and the answer will have been pleased to see the progress made by his back three youngsters. Jon has been a regular all season, Seti looking better game by game, Ben who played for CS U23 has the agility and Aaron has the power.

Jack Foster

Jack Foster digs for the ball

Being an uncapped replacement when the skipper plays in your position can not be easy.  Jack sat through 80 minutes in Toulon and a further 80 minutes at US Portsmouth without the opportunity to get on the pitch and win his first cap.

On Saturday his opportunity came and he became the 700th member of Navy Rugby’s silver tie club and the 713 member of the Royal Navy Rugby Union to have been awarded a cap.  The first of many for this player who this season stood out in the two U23 matches and also made his mark in the Inter Command tournament.  With Jonny Stephen also set to return and Dave Pascoe still in the best form of his long and distinguished career it looks as if 2013 is set to be a battle royal for the scrum half spot.

Is this the Navy's Future Half Back Pairing? Jack Foster (left) is welcomed by Nathan Huntley as he wins his first cap and becomes the 700th capped player. Nathan has played at both outside centre and fly half this season.

Words of Wisdom?

Greg Barden - Navy Rugby and England

In the week when he announced his immediate retirement from rugby the now former England VIIs captain and Navy Rugby vice captain, Greg Barden,  was spotted in the Sky commentary box alongside Simon Ward.

It must have been a day of mixed emotions for Greg.  Naturally the scoreline would have hurt his Navy (Royal Marine) core but also seeing friend and colleague DamuDamu stretchered off must have been harder for him than most in the Stadium.  The two Servicemen had been team mates for England VIIs and it must remain doubtful whether Isoa will return to the HSBC IRB VII Series where he repeatedly showed himself to be truly world class.

Isoa DamuDamu

However Greg will have admired the prodigious talent Sam Laird and his work at the breakdown and will no doubt have seen enough of the Bamford and Sleeman centre partnership to have some hope for the future especially as Jon Humphrey’s develops and becomes more comfortable challenging the line from fullback.

The saddest way to leave the field of combat for a soldier, a great rugby player and a true sportsman. Speedy recovery Isoa.

Physio Farewell

Pippa Band - 9 years Navy Rugby Physio

Navy Rugby bade farewell to their head physio of the last nine years.  Pippa has given great service to the Sharks, U21s, U23s and the Senior XV.  It looks in this photo as if she wishes to take Navy Coach Owen Salmon with her!  Owen – you have unfinished business.

The match

Navy's 9 points from Dave's boot

Coopz caused some damage when he came on

Marsh as ever gave a lead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kye - good first season of Senior rugby. Stronger and fitter for 2013, see Kyle for details.

Hugo Mitchell-Heggs caused excitement at the end being stopped a couple of metres short

Josh bundled out close to the goal line

but in truth we were hanging on to the Army's (and man of the match Roko's) shirt tails for much of the match.

Award Winners

Sam Laird - Cossack Sword

Nathan Huntley - Proud Heritage Exciting Future

A full pictorial tribute to all the award holders will be posted later in the month.

 And Finally……..

The choir was good - Military Wives choir in action

but not as good as the anthems!

Official reports from RNRU can be found here for Mariners and Women and here for Seniors.  Note Mariner’s point scorer was Manoa Satala and not Paul Clarke as (currently) reported.

 

Already looking for to 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Forget the Referees

The Navy had a fourth team competing as part of Army Navy day.  Before the Army Navy match and also during the half time interval the RFU were showcasing a National Girls event which had partly been organised by Navy Rugby Development Officer, Ady Cherrington.  The Royal Navy Rugby Union Referees Society provided three officials and it was apposite that their current referee of the year Jane Pizii was in the middle.  She was supported by her two assistants of Welshy Edwards and Des Donworth.

Welshy and Jane


The Chase is on


Des on the touchline


Jane getting serious


Try Time!


The Team of Three - Jane flanked by Welshy and Des

Ten Years, Ten Titles, ‘Ten’ Targetted

The Women’s Inter Service Rugby Championship celebrated the culmination of its tenth year on 28th April and the Army should be congratulated on the continuation of their unbroken run.

Sarah Jenkins receives prolonged treatment with a concerned skipper (Charlie Fredrickson) and Paula Bennett-Smith looking on

However the matches over the last few years have been far from easy for them and again they had to play well and never really subdued the Navy team until a dangerous tackle left Sarah Jenkins on the turf for a length of time with a neck injury.  Long stoppages in the cold and wet are not easy to manage and in the last eight minutes, after the stoppage,  the Army ran in 17 points to give the 49 – 5 score line a flattering look.

Another player who took a bit of a battering during the match was Navy player of the match (and Roger Sherratt Trophy winner) Loz Morton.  On a few occasions she was left on the turf due to a mixture of her ferociously competitive play and also the most legally targeting she received from the Army back row and defence generally.  It is a testament to the wide respect she is earning that teams are now planning such a welcoming committee!  Loz will only get better, stronger and more physical as she  develops as a player – opposition stand by.

Lauren Morton patched up by Amy Eastmond (Navy Physio) with help from the Army Physio

 Women’s Game Continues to Develop

Six New Caps - Charlotte Lewis, Helen Leach, Sarah Jenkins, Lavinia Vakuruivalu, Lauren Morton and team captain Charlotte Fredrickson

A number of players enhanced their reputation on Saturday.  Picking out individuals in a team sport is always fraught with danger.  However six Navy players were winning their first cap so also in tribute for this and their excellent play in a losing cause I have picked some of my highlights.

Helen Leach

Helen Leach supports Charlie Lewis

Key ball carrier for the team

Excellent work rate in support

More ball carrying

Awarded her cap as RN(W)'s 10nth capped player

Charlotte Fredrickson (Captain)

Charlie again led by example

Committed in defence

RN(W)'s 8th capped player

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie Lewis

Charlie Lewis significant defence all match

which didn't let up when she moved from flanker to hooker

RN(W)'s 9th capped player

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Jenkins

Jenks had few opportunities to run

and did her fair share of the close quarter work

Back smiling after her injury and the RN(W)'s 12th capped player

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lavinia Vakuruivalu

V's strength in defence was often on call

she also showed that she is a balanced and agile runner with the ball

Unlucky for some - V becomes RN(W)'s 13th capped player

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren Morton – Roger Sherratt Trophy Winner

Lauren 'Loz" Morton with the Roger Sherratt Trophy

Loz was rightly awarded the prestigious Roger Sherratt Trophy for her performances in both Inter Service matches.

Loz attracting attention from the Army defence

Head down as she heads in to the heart of the battle

Clearing possession

On another sniping run

Eyeing the opposition

The RN(W)'s 11th capped player with a deserved 'nip' against the cold

 

Sam Cuff

The last match for Sam as he stood down from the position of RN(W) Head Coach.  During his time he has over seen significant progress in the Navy Women’s game and will be greatly missed by the RN(W).  He moves over to the Navy Sharks and I am sure his success will continue.

Sam Cuff

 

The Final Word

Looking forward to 2013