RN winning CNRC match report below.
Last night’s U23 match is available by clicking here.
Also some interesting info from BFBS. Includes interview with Ash before the final match and thoughts looking forward to April 2013.
Royal Australian Navy 10 Royal Navy 36
A dream start for the the Aussie’s saw their captain and veteran of all six Commonwealth Cup tournaments, Jason Harrington, open the scoring to give them a deserved 5 – 0 lead in the final match of the 2012 competition. Could this be their day!
The initial onslaught continued from the home team as time and time again they developed good field position and put the RN team under pressure. When the Royal Navy did launch something resembling an attack the conceding of foolish penalties allowed the home team to clear their lines and soon put the RN on to the back foot again.
However games are not won in the first quarter and with only the one score to show for their efforts it began to become clear that the opening high tempo play from the Breakers and the ferocity of their ball carrying was beginning to take its toll. The RN having weathered the Aussie storm began to up their own tempo and cause the home side some defencive problems.
The match turned either side off half time. Just before the break the RN’s openside Seti Raumakita putting the icing on a personal excellent tournament by opening the scoring for the away team. With Dave Pascoe converting as well as landing a penalty the half time break was reached with a five point advantage. This was soon turned to ten after half time when Welling was put over for the RN’s second try. Pacco slipped up with the conversion but 15 – 5 was a very handy lead.
Andy Kellett had been forced in to some changes and despite Sunday’s man of the match, Gaz Evans, being replaced by Sumo Thompson the pressure now being exerted did not let up. The front row was given a freshened up with Josh Terry giving way to Kye Beasley and Ed Gaught being replaced by McArdle.
The game was soon over as a contest and though it was Welling with a personal hat trick who scored the points it was through the forwards that this match was won. Through out the second half they exerted a strangle hold on the game and squeezed the life, if not the spirit, out of the home sides play.
If the forwards were smashing the holes the backline was certainly exploiting them. Sleeman slipped Welling through for his second whilst RN fullback Humphrey capitalised on a break out to put Greg Welling in for his third. Both tries converted by skipper Pascoe and at 29 – 5 with the game in its final quarter the job was done.
RN DoR, Andy Kellett, was able to empty his bench with John Clay, Nick Bell and Tyler Smart all getting game time as Pacco, Chris Davies and Jon Humphrey trudged off, their personal day complete. Similarly the Blackburn brothers were swapped.
From the side line Dave Pascoe would have the satisfaction of watching the final moments of the game. He will have been pleased to see Tom Davies score the RN’s fifth try, converted by Nick Bell, for a 36-5 lead and even though the Breakers managed to bookend the match and reduce the score to 36-10 his smile could not be surpressed.
Talking about the game and the tournament Head Coach, Ash Coates, first mentioned about the work ethic that the whole squad had bought in to and that was probably the greatest pleasing aspect of the tour as already he began to look further forward. He felt that the team had shown character on the field to subdue two quality opposition in very different ways. To edge a tight opening game had, he said, shown that they could be disciplined and execute whilst under pressure and that in the backrow they had a real game changing unit. Whilst today having spoken about the emotion in the Aussie side they had first absorbed the expected high tempo and direct play of the Aussies and then executed some fine fifteen man rugby to move the game out of their reach. A satisfying end to an excellent competition.
First Amongst Equals
When you are part of a Premiership club, the prouder holder of 16 Navy caps, the scorer of a winning try at Twickenham to secure an Inter Service championship there is an expectation. An expectation to perform. To lead. To inspire. Navy number 8 (and some time prop or hooker) ticks all those boxes so the man of the match performance in the CNRC opener against the Kiwis was not a surprise. However the views of Ash Coates, Navy’s Head Coach, are a little more illuminating. By all accounts Gaz shaded the award from his other two destroyers in the RN back row – Scott Puleston and Seti Raumakita.
Followers of Navy Rugby will have long ago seen the rich potential that Seti has, capped at U23 and Senior level his game continues to grow through nurturing by the Sharks and greater experience at senior level. But Scott?
Scott was a member of the training squad last season but did not feature come match time.
I first came across his undoubted talents at the RN Sevens held at St Ivel RFC. A strong ball carrier with vision and a surprising turn of speed when required. Listening to Ash’s thoughts turned back time a little. The backrow in the 2009 game against the Royal Australian Navy was Kieron Morton, Will Cairns and Mark Egglestone. All three went on to play a significant role in the 2010 Inter Service win. Of the three Scott’s route closely resembles that of Kieron – by stealth under the radar. Kieron was hugely respected within the team but not always understood outside it. Like the class of 2009 will we look back I see that Sydney 2012 was the making of another top quality Navy backrow forward – Scott Puleston.
Lets hope so because with the current way the game is played unless a side is competitive at the breakdown then it is very hard to build a winning platform.
When the squad returns from Sydney there should be an interesting selection headache for the second part of the season. Well worth being on the touchline to watch it unfold.
The battle for the Navy back row as they head to the 2013 Inter Services will potentially include: Gaz Evans, Seti Raumakita, Scott Puleston, Tyler Smart, Chris Thompson, Sam Laird, Ian Cooper, Hugo Mitchell-Heggs, Ben Fox and Mike Egglestone. Naturally availability is dependent on their deployments and injury.