Seahawk Pack too Powerful for Pompey

Captain Joji Volasaya lifts the Navy Cup as Seahawk win 43 – 8 to retain their trophy

A comfortable win for HMS Seahawk as they retain their Navy Cup title with victory over HMNB Portsmouth.  Brief match report with a selection of images below.  All the images will be available over the next couple of days.

If Burnaby Road is the ‘Home’ of Navy Rugby then RNAS Culdrose currently nurtures it’s ‘Soul’.  A side with five senior capped players in the pack and two more in the back line was always going to be too strong for the home side, HMNB Portsmouth.

The hosts started in the worst possible fashion.  A fumble from the kick off presented Seahawk with an attacking scrummage.  They did not need a second invitation.  It proved as simple as One, Two, Three.

First you scrummage – Navy cap, Tom Blackburn packs down at loose head.
Second – you run hard off the dominant scrum. Captain Volasaya in full flight with Dave Pascoe and Aaron Hunt in support
Third – you allow the Combined Services most capped player (Dave Pascoe) the simplest of run ins for the opening score inside the second minute.

The rest of the first half proved to be a similar story.  Whenever Seahawk upped their game, particularly through the forwards HMNB Portsmouth simply did not have the answer.  To their credit they thwarted a number of Seahawk attacks and delayed the inevitable second score.

Seahawk were dominant at both scrummage and maul. From a ten metre line out they secured possession and with Navy hooker, Ben Priddey, controlling the ball at the back of the maul they drove towards the Pompey goal line.
With the Camborne version of the Chris Ashton “Swallow Dive’ Ben Priddey dived over for his first and Seahawk’s second.

The night was not to be totally forward orientated and with Pascoe giving Navy U23 fullback Matt Horton the quality service at flyhalf the young play maker was soon able to bring the back line in to play where both Jonny Platt and Aaron Hunt proved to be a handful for the Portsmouth defence.

Navy Winger, Aaron Hunt, rounds the HMNB defence for Seahawk’s third try.

Two further tries wrapped up the half.

Ben Priddey’s second was a carbon copy of the first. Lineout, maul and this time an improved dive.
Seahawk’s fifth try was notable in that it was not a Navy capped player scoring. The impressive blindside flanker, Stephen Homer scores after his inside supporting line was picked out by Ben Priddey who was loitering on the right wing.
Matt Horton kicked three out of five conversions. HMNB scrum half, Tom Davies landed one penalty and the half time score was 31- 3 in Seahawk’s favour.

With both sides electing to stay out, on what was a bitterly cold evening, the second half was soon under way.  It wasn’t long before Seahawk were once more on the attack and within this third quarter both their wingers crossed for well worked team tries.

Paul Saberton on his way to the goal line and Seahawk’s sixth try.
And not to be out done, fellow winger Macintyre beats the cover defence for try number seven.

The cold (and the disruption through replacements) was taking its toll and the game never had any fluency in the second half.  The game had been won but HMNB Portsmouth had proved on a number of occasions throughout the match that they could cause a few problems of their own.  At the end of the first half Seahawk had been forced to defend their line robustly and had managed to prevent a Pompey try.  As the match drew to its close, a refusal by HMNB to lie down brought them once more within striking distance of the Seahawk line.  With Seahawk desperate to keep their line intact the game ended with (an all to short) period of intense play.

This mini battle within the game was won by HMNB Portsmouth who crossed the line for the final try of the match. A fair reward for honest graft throughout the eighty minutes.

It was too little, too late.  For HMS Seahawk the trophy was retained, their third victory in all and only the fourth team to have won back to back titles.  They had many stars but also their uncapped players contributed fully to their performance and on their behalf thee captain V Volasay was, for me, the man of the match.  He set the tone from the start with his powerful running from the base of the scrum, he tackled his heart out and won a number of very important turnovers.

Joji Volasaya – man of the match

Final Score

HMNB Portsmouth 8 – HMS Seahawk 43

Visit Navy Cup page by clicking here.

Sophie Hinds

Prior to the kick off the President of Navy Rugby presented Navy Women’s player, Sophie Hinds with her cap.  Sophie won her cap in 2011 but was deployed in the Falklands when the caps were presented at the Inter Command Final.  However all good things come to those that wait and Sophie at last received the acknowledgement of being the fifth Navy Women’s capped player.  All of the Navy capped players (men and women) can be viewed by clicking here.

Sophie Hinds – was presented with her cap by Vice Admiral Phil Jones, President of Navy Rugby

One Response

  1. John Walton
    | Reply

    A fair and accurate report of the game.
    The RN capped players made all the difference for HMS Seahawk.
    HMNB Portsmouth lacked the firepower against a very strong side, however they never gave in and were rewarded with a try at the end.

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