The very first winner of the Royal Navy Rugby Union Knockout Cup was HMS Ark Royal.  Since then they have remained the only ship to have one the competition.  The current holders are HMS Seahawk who beat HMNB Portsmouth at BUrnaby Road to retain the cup they also won in 2011.

Navy Cup – Season 2012/2013

HMS Seahawk retain the Navy Cup with a 43 – 8 victory over HMNB Portsmouth

Navy Cup Final

Navy lock forward, Marsh Cormack, shows he has too much speed for Navy Number 8, Ian Cooper (far left). Has Marsh won more Navy Cup winners medals than anyone else?

HMS Seahawk 43 HMNB Portsmouth 8

HMNB Portsmouth: Will Giddings, ?, Chris Davies, Woodcock, John Barnett, Robo Robonakadavu, Lee Mellor (C), Ian Cooper, Tom Davies, Danny Johnson, Chris Reeves, ‘Tom’ Jones, ‘Lily’ Savage, Sandy Sanderson, Manu Satala, Chute, Pierce, ?, ?, ?, ?, Craig Towers

HMS Seahawk: Tom Blackburn * +, Kye Beasley * +, John Court *, Aidan Riley, Marsh Cormack * +, Stephen Homer, Ben Priddey * +, Joji Volasaya (c), Dave Pascoe * +, Matt Horton, Rob Macintyre, Jonny Platt, Wilkinson, Paul Saberton, Aaron Hunt *

Replacements: Euan Cowie *, Kava, Lowe, Pallet, Smith, Simpson, Tora, Kirk

* – Navy Capped player  + Combined Services Capped Player

HMNB Portsmouth Tries: Jones Pens: T Davies

HMS Seahawk Tries: Pascoe, Priddey (2), Hunt, Homer, Saberton, Macintyre Conv: Horton (4)

Match report is available by clicking here.

Semi Finals

HMS Seahawk 29 v HMNB Devonport 10
HMS Sultan 14 v HMNB Portsmouth 17

Quarter Finals

HMS Sultan 27 HMS Collingwood 15
HMNB Portsmouth 28 HMNB Clyde 22 – match report
HMNB Devonport 32 HMS Ocean 15
HMS Seahawk w/o 30 Cdo RM

Round One

HMNB Clyde 36 HMS Heron 5
HMS Sultan w/o HMS Middleton

Royal Navy Rugby Union Knockout Cup – Previous Winners

* Fisleigh was an amalgamation of HMS Fisgard and HMS Raleigh

Image Galleries From RNRU Navy Cup Matches and Finals

photocrati gallery

Matches from the Past

Wednesday 7 December 2011 HMS Seahawk beat HMS Sultan 74-6

Sultan couldn’t cope with Seahawk’s powerful running game, including Aaron Hunt who was to win his first cap later in the season.

This match probably came a couple of months too soon for the Sultan team that went on to win the Portsmouth Area Cup.  Though they had had a successful cup run the inexperienced side proved to be no match for another strong side travelling up from Cornwall.  Seahawk had eleven players in their squad with representative experience ranging from Euan Cowie, who anchored their scrum and was capped in 1992, through to the powerful running wing, Aaron Hunt, who would be capped later in the season against the RAF.  The Seahawk team was coached by dual coded capped player B Buinimasi and also included a number of players who had honed their skills on the competitive West Country Sevens circuit.  Following a couple of early Seahawk tries, including one from Navy hooker Ben Priddey, it was this sevens flair that was to be the key reason why Seahawk were able to run up such a large score.  With the match lose and Sultan always willing to take risks to score a try of their own all to often the dangerous Seahawk runners found themselves in broken field situations.  Situations from  which they more often than not scored.  An entertaining if not tense climax to the season’s Navy Cup tournament.

Wednesday 5 January 2011 HMS Heron beat HMS Excellent 27-7

Paul Mortensen in sevens action for HMS Heron scored a hat trick of tries in the 27-7 win over Excellent.

This was definitely to be Heron’s captain, Paul Mortensen’s match.  He led his team to an emphatic victory from the front and scored a hat trick of tries.  Heron’s other two tries came from capped Navy player Dave Jones playing at fullback and their left wing Rose.  Jones also landed one conversion successfully.

For HMS Excellent it was a remarkable achievement to get through to the final and a good first glimpse of the coaching skills of Scott AShley, who went on to become Navy U23 Head Coach. Though they couldn’t match Heron player for player their work rate as a team ensured that Heron had to work hard for every point they scored.  The match was to be the last cup success for Heron, Naval Air Command and Navy Rugby stalwart, Jim Hunter, before he left the Service at the end of the season.

Wednesday 16 December 2009 42 Cdo RM beat HMS Seahawk 12-6

In what can best be described as a dour struggle future Navy hooker, Tom Evans-Jones led 42 Cdo RM to an unexpected but memorable win.  Two early penalties from Navy Captain Dave Pascoe and seemingly set the match on its predicted course.  However the first quarter aside the 42 Cdo pack produced a performance that eclipsed the more experienced Seahawk forwards.  Both of 42 Cdo’s tries came from close forward play.  The first though was scored by winger Jack Usher after the Cdo pack had repeatedly tried to pick and drive across the Seahawk goal line.  With each attempt thwarted they finally released the ball blind for Usher to cross.  The try was not converted and the halftime score was 6-5.

The second half originally continued as the first had finished with the play very much forward orientated.  However as the Seahawk pack tired 42 Cdo started to move the ball to the wider channels and began making significant inroads into Seahawk’s defence.  A number of half chances were squandered before a failed clearance and touch down in their own In Goal by Seahawk gave 42 Cdo RM an attacking 5m scrum.  With their pack now in full control they drove the scrummage over the goal line for their No 8, James Goss, to score.  The try was converted by Matt Smith to leave the final score at 12-6.

Wednesday 10 December 2008 HMS Sultan beat HMS Nelson 10-8

Two famous sons of Naval Air Command were to prove the difference in this closely fought Navy Cup final.  Stu Moss anchored the Sultan scrummage from prop and Dave Pascoe controlled the game from the unusual position, for him, of flyhalf.

Despite Nelson having a number of capped (or to be future capped) players in their ranks the likes of Les Dennis, Gareth Cadmore, Wayne John Dane Smallbone and rugby league’s impressive James Wagstaff could not match the early intensity of HMS Sultan’s play particularly that of Sultan’s lock John Lamsin who totally ruled the ruck collisions.  Their pressure was to be rewarded when Kelly Wise scored a try from short range which Dave Pascoe converted.  A penalty from Smallbone reduced the lead to 7-3 at halftime.

Much of the second half saw the two team cancelled themselves out in the middle of the park.  However with the game well in to its final quarter Nelson’s backs at last showed some of their pedigree.  Maintaining width and continuity they stretched Sultan’s defence across both sides of the pitch before Smallbone was able to cross for a try wide out.  Unfortunately he was unsuccessful with the conversion which meant that Sultan remained within one kick of the match.  Though they missed out on an attempted drop goal they kept field position and when Nelson were penalised in front of their posts Pascoe was on hand to kick the winning points.

Ryan Cox (pictured at scrum half for Naval Air Command) played a key role in Sultan’s victory

The official man of the match has not been recorded but the final witnessed an impressive game from Navy Rugby’s most unlucky scrum half Ryan Cox.  Ryan chose the time of Dave Pascoe, Andy Quick, Wayne John and Jonny Stephens to be a scrum half and as a consequence struggled to get the recognition he probably deserved, although he produced a number of important matches for the U23s.

Wednesday 7 December 2005 42 Cdo RM beat HMS Collingwood 23-15

Tom Evans-Jones – two Navy Cup finals with 42 Cdo RM

Despite having two of the Navy’s most capped players in their side in Si Burns and Dave Sibson Collingwood were unable to match the forward fire power of 42 Cdo RM.  Si Burn played unusually at hooker rather than his normal prop position whilst Dave was at flyhalf.

The 42 Cdo RM pack was also strangely configured with Navy hooker Colin Milkin at prop which allowed another future Navy hooker, Tom Evans-Jones to play at hooker.  Future Navy flanker Kieron Morton played in the second row whilst Navy flanker, Matt Parker was at 7. In their backline they selected the exciting running skills of Daku and Gaz Fear with the powerful running of Jason Mills at centre.

HMS Collingwood edged out to a 12-0 lead but could not sustain their play and the lead was soon clawed back to 15-6 by 42 Cdo.  Their two tries edged them in front 16-15 with the conversion of the second to come.  They was made along with a final penalty for 23-15 at full time.

Wednesday 8 December 2004 HMS Heron beat BRNC Dartmouth 23-3

The same final as in 2001 was to prove a happier evening for HMS Heron who this time were victorious.  By quirk of appointments the referee for both the 2001 and 2004 final was the same referee from the RAFRURS, Gareth Copsey.  He subsequently went on to become a Premiership AssistantReferee with the RFU.

Manoa Satala try scorer for Heron in 2004 and in HMNB Portsmouth’s colours in 2012

Two tries from Joe Poole, one from Manoa Satala and one from flanker Bowen proved too much for BRNC who could only manage a single penalty from their flyhalf Naughton.  Though Poole missed all of Heron’s conversions he did also score a penalty goal.

On the bench for the college that day was Phil England who went on to become chairman of Navy U23s along with a Officer Cadet Chruch, the son of current RNRU Secretary Alan Church.

The Heron backline was Owen Salmon, Taff Evans, Joe Poole, Ollie James, Dave Jones, Chas Channing and Manoa Satala.  All had won representative honours with Navy Rugby.

Wednesday 10 December 2003 HMS Raleigh beat HMS Collingwood 21-9

Josh Drauniniu first burst on to the Navy scene in HMS Raleigh’s colours. Pictured above playing for the Navy Sharks

A young star of the future made his big match debut during the final when Josh Drauniniu was selected at fullback for HMS Raleigh.  However it was the kicking of Jamie Caruana at flyhalf that controlled the match for Raleigh aswell as scoring most of their points.  Three penalties and a conversion plus a try each from centre Nicholls and winger Saunders proved too much for HMS Collingwood.  Dane Smallbone kicked three penalties for Collingwood.  Future Navy U23 and Senior XV Captain (2009 Commonwealth Cup) Wayne ‘Cowboy’ John was at scrum half for HMS Collingwood.

HMS Raleigh’s pack that day had an experienced second row partnership in Glenn Gavanagh and O’Connor who both wore Senior colours on a number of occasions and at prop they had the ever reliable Wallace-Simms.

The victory was especially sweet for the RNRU Chairman at the time, Cdre David Pond, who was also CO HMS Raleigh.

Monday 17th December 2001 BRNC Dartmouth beat HMS Heron 31-22

On their way to the final BRNC had  a close match against CTCRM in the Q/F winning 17-14 before beating HMNB Devonport more comfortably 41 – 21 in the S/F.  Heron meanwhile had been scoring  freely on their cup run with a 88-19 win away to Caledonia and a 51-12 S/F win over Collingwood.  They probably entered the final as slight favourites.

Marsch Cormack went on to become the Navy’s most capped lock forward but only made the bench for the Navy Cup Final in 2001

The match was notable for the last cup appearance of former Navy captain Chris Alcock who played at centre for Heron during the match.  A young Marsh Cormack made the Heron bench and future Navy Head Coach, Owen Salmon was at scrum half.  Heron also had Dan Parks at loose head prop.  Dan went on to become Navy Rugby’s most capped prop forward.

The Dartmouth side was captained from hooker by Logie Baird and contained only three ‘known’ players in Navy caps Jamie Phillips (wing), Anton Fries (2nd Row) and Roger Redwin (openside flanker).  However it also contained Will Jerold and Ollie Hucker in the back row both of whom made it to Senior XV colours.

The college won through kicking their goals.  Both sides scored four tries but whilst Heron only managed one conversion (Alcock), BRNC landed all four as well as a penalty.  The BRNC tries were scored by Hucker, left wing Wilson (2) and a penalty try.  Fly half Cloney landed the kicks.  Two of Heron’s tries were scored by John Over on the wing and Chas Channing at fullback.