A cold and snowy afternoon at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, Somerset, saw a replay of last year’s Royal Navy Rugby Inter-Command final between the tournament favourites Naval Air Command and the Royal Marines.
The RM team arrived fresh from their training camp with Exeter Chiefs and were keen to exert pressure right from the kick off. With the stiff cold wind at their backs the Marines were instantly on the attack driving into their the 22m with some strong running from Marine Tichias (RM Poole) and Corporal Tom Holliday (6 Ops). However, the Naval Air’s defence held firm, but resulted in a series of penalties at the breakdown, this in turn led to 4 unsuccessful penalty kicks at goal.
Naval Air seemed to weather the early storm and started to put some phases together with Leading Airman Ben Priddey (RNAS Culdrose) carrying well, unfortunately the ball was spilt forward too many times to create any sustained pressure. Marine Jon Marlin (42 Commando RM) playing at Full Back also made 2 excellent try saving tackles.
The Naval Air’s forwards started to get a foot hold in the game and following a 5m scrum their No 8 Naval Airman Joji Voyasala powered over the line to open the scoring. Moments later the Air Command put some phases together from a lineout and the ball again found its way to Voyasala who handed off his defender and ghosted past 2 players to score under the post. RN Senior XV skipper Petty Officer Dave Pascoe (RNAS Culdrose) converted leaving the half time score 12 – 0.
Unfortunately for the Marines the second half started as the first ended with a try from the Air Command, this time from Priddey with a trade mark dive over the line from a powerful rolling maul. This was to be the last score of the match.
The rest of the half saw the Marines on the attack but they were unable to break Air Command’s defensive line even when the airmen were reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes. Air Command were also unable to use the strong wind to exert any pressure on the Marines line, final score 17 – 0.
PLYMOUTH COMMAND 42 v PORTSMOUTH COMMAND 5
Plymouth Command, coming off the back of a loss against the Naval Air Command last week took on fellow Naval Base challengers from Portsmouth in Round 2 of the 2013 Royal Navy Rugby Union Inter Command Competition. Portsmouth on the other hand had ‘notched’ up a win against Scotland Command and where hoping to add to this. However, Plymouth had other ideas and ended up victors in a closely fought game.