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Bahrain held back
by makeshift MCMs
A RUGBY squad drawn from but in the spirit of rugby both
HMS Atherstone and Pembroke pushed hard for the winning try
and the Fleet Support Unit based although it proved elusive for all.
in Bahrain opened its Gulf ‘tour’ A draw was a fair result with
with a promising draw against a both teams having played patches
strong Bahraini XV. of extremely-promising rugby.
The combined Telic MCM side Meanwhile, you have to admire
took to the fi eld against Bahrain the tenacity of the sportsmen of
RFC 2nd XV for a hard-fought HMS Lancaster.
encounter which demonstrated Bahrain has not been a happy
that rugby is alive and well in small hunting ground for the frigate’s
ships. cricket, rugby or football teams.
The game started well for the Yet each time the ship puts into
MCM side with some strong the Gulf state for a break from
forward work leading to a sustained patrolling Iraq’s oil platforms,
period of pressure on the Bahraini LPT Daz Hoare and his band of
line. merry (sports)men trot out for the
When the ball popped out of a honour of the Red Rose.
Bahraini scrum, blindside fl anker The cricketers offered the best
ET(ME) Benny Hedges (FSU) hope for sporting success after
was on hand to pick it up and one defeat and one draw with the
charge over the line to open the Taverners.
scoring. In a 24-over match, the sailors
This seemed to awaken the bowled extremely well and limited
Bahraini side who then dominated the home side to 209. Daz led by
the game for the next 35 minutes example taking 2-15.
scoring 15 unanswered points and And talking of leading by
in the process displaying some example, Lancaster’s CO Cdr
purposeful attacking rugby that Rory Bryan opened the batting
● RNRL’s Mark Robinson powers his way towards the Valley Cougars’ lines in the Brothers’ comprehensive fi rst-round victory
left the MCM select XV reeling. response in style.
Picture: Ian Lovell Photography, Cardiff
Had it not been for some very Unfortunately, after his
strong tackling in the centres successful opening partnership,
by PO(MW) ‘Pat’ Quintao and things went downhill and the
AB(D) ‘Rocky’ Hudson the game sailors eventually came up 30 runs
could easily have been over as a short of the Taverners’ total.
contest before half time. Lancaster’s rugby squad were
After a stern team talk at half mauled on their last appearance
time from the side’s captain, Lt in Bahrain.
Cup dreams dashed
Sammy Seal (Pembroke), the Not so this fixture as they gave
second half started well for the the locals a much tougher work-
MCM side. out. It took Bahrain 17 minutes
Five further tries were scored, for the fans RNRL moved into the missed the Brothers were behind
The forward pack started to to put some points on the board
DESPITE a brave late
a brace for Tom Boyce and one second round 38-28, Jamie Goss by six points.
gel – not just as a result of the (aided by the fact that Lancaster
push RNRL missed out on
apiece for Smallbone, Jamie Goss receiving a well deserved ‘man On the offensive for much of
presence of a number of divers in opened the game with 13, not 15, a place in the draw for the
and Danny Johnson. Smallbone of the match’ award for another the second half, uncharacteristic
the side who have a well-known men thanks to traffic...).
third round of this year’s kicked a further four conversions mighty 80 minutes at open side handling errors at crucial times
affi nity for hair products! By half time, the score had
to leave the home side cruising prop and skipper. were the RN’s downfall as despite
The increased pressure soon reached a creditable 12-3, but
Carnegie-sponsored RL
32-6 at the break. So to the East Midlands to take much endeavour they could not
bore fruit with PO(Diver) Crew with a full squad for the second
Challenge Cup, writes
The second half began as the on the students of Loughborough break the students’ line.
(Atherstone) rolling off a maul period, Lancaster pegged Bahrain WO1 Keith Humpleby.
fi rst had fi nished with the RN University in the fi rst clash As play reached the fi nal quarter,
and setting off on a thundering back to 12-8. A hard-fought victory in the
eager to press home the apparently between the sides. Alex Scruton closed the gap to
run from 15 yards out to score Despite heavy Red Rose fi rst round earned the Brothers
unassailable lead with current Much was at stake for both four with a penalty, but against the
under the posts with three Bahrain pressure, Bahrain wouldn’t buckle
an away draw at Loughborough
Man Of Steel Jim Barnes crossing teams as neither had progressed run of play the Uni found space in
players still hanging off his shirt. and added a converted try to
University in the second.
for his second of the day. beyond the second round before. centre fi eld and good hands saw
This put the game at 15-10 triumph 19-8.
Both matches pitted the RN
As heavy rain was blown into the The students settled fi rst playing the ball passed out to the left wing
to the home side, but with 20 The ship’s footballers opened
against teams who were somewhat
faces of the RN by an almost-gale- on their sloping home pitch and and the try was scored.
minutes to go and nothing to their encounter with a local side
of an unknown quantity and
force wind, the Cougars dug deep moving into a 12-0 lead after the The RN came straight back,
lose, the MCM squad changed its badly – 2-0 down within the first
provided great entertainment for
and found new reserves. Whether fi rst quarter. though this time their hard work
tactics and began to hoist some ten minutes.
the fans.
it was wearing the Welsh national RNRL got back into the game was rewarded: Mark Robinson
purposeful high kicks. The next 35 minutes belonged
The Cardiff-based Valley
shirt or just a determination to and the second period defi nitely scored a great hooker’s try – his
This gave CPO Andy Witton to the sailors, they were only able
Cougars were the visitors in the
beat the English, it didn’t seem belonged to the visitors. A well- second of the game – burrowing
(Atherstone) the opportunity he to convert their constant pressure
fi rst round. Despite poor weather
to matter as for a 15-minute worked try fi nished off by Tim over close to the posts. Scruton
had been waiting for and, after into one goal.
conditions leading up to the
period they took the game to Vonderavalu began the scoring. was on target to bring the RN
fi elding a diffi cult bouncing ball The pressure on the Bahraini
match, it went ahead.
the RN and were rewarded with More pressure from the RN within two points of the students.
and jinking around two Bahraini goal intensified after the break,
After going behind early on to a
three unanswered tries, two of stretched the home defence and
players, he scored the try of the but the Red Rose rhythm was
The last few minutes were
try scored from a speculative ‘up
which were converted to bring the as the clock wound down hooker
match to level the game. upset by a (dubious) penalty
played at a breathless pace as time
and under’ the RN drew level with
visitors to within 16 points of the Mark Robinson crashed over from
The fi nal quarter saw to leave the sailors with a 3-1
and again the Brothers came close.
a try from Jim Barnes resulting hosts at 38-22.
ten metres out to put his team very
opportunities for both sides to win mountain to climb, which proved
Goss was held up over the line but
from confusion in the Welsh ranks The fi nal ten minutes or so
the game by kicking easy penalties, too demanding.
much back in contention. Alex it was not to be and referee Joe
following a missed RN penalty. were very tense if you were an
Scruton made no mistake with Cobb fi nally signalled the end of
The defence were not quite sure RN supporter but the Brothers, the conversion to bring the sides
the RNRL 2009 Challenge Cup
what to do and Barnes strode in once again captained by Jamie within two points of each other at
gathering a loose pass to touch Goss, began to turn the tide and 12-10 to the students. An uncharacteristically
down, giving Dane Smallbone prevented the Cougars from It looked all on for the Navy inconsistent performance by
a relatively straight forward closing the gap any further. in the second half, playing down RNRL was matched by a strong
conversion. That was until the dying seconds the slope with the wind at their defensive effort by the home side
For the rest of the fi rst half it of the game when the Welshmen backs and confi dence high... but that go into the third round for
was virtually one-way traffi c as the crossed again for another converted the students went over early on – the fi rst time in their history by
home side dominated proceedings. try. So after a fantastic spectacle and although the conversion was 20-18.
Italians have the last lap
THE Marina Frapa at Rogoznica, nine Dalmatian coast was too much for the
miles north of Split was the stunning chartered Salonas, ensuring racing was
venue for sailing’s seventh Croatian cancelled for days two and three.
Back on Corsa
Navy Cup. When racing eventually resumed with
Teams from the US, Greece, Italy a passage race from Split to the Croatian
Slovenia, UK and two from the hosts, naval base, the wind had dropped to
the Croatian Navy, made up a very 7-8kts.
WITH a newly-built 1,300cc Vauxhall Corsa ready just in time for competitive fleet with the event being The UK team picked the right end of
the 2009 season, motor racer Logs (Pers) Tracey Cotton (DCMC sailed in Salona 37 yachts provided by the start line, hit it perfectly and finished
Whitehall) attended the fourth annual Oval Racing Expo and Rolling the sponsors. ahead of all the other navy boats by a
Thunder Show at Arena Essex Raceway (opposite the Lakeside The Italian Navy – who maintain substantial margin.
Shopping Centre). a regular professional squad – were The Italians who had got it all wrong
Five races – two heats, a final and two demonstration races – were firm favourites with the Greeks also at the start were back in fifth – they
the order of the day over the weekend meeting. including three full-time sailors in their could be beaten!
The sailor was lined up in 1450 Hot Rod class. After a good start squad. The final day – with the wind gusting
she shot up to fifth position in the race – until clipped by a Fiesta, Despite the inclusion of Lt Cdr between 12 and 26kts – saw some great
which sent Tracey into a spin down the straight and on to the centre Penny Clark team GBR Laser Radial close-quarter sailing between the Brits
green. Luckily no-one else caught her and she managed to collect the representative at the Qingdao Olympics, and Italians.
car and rejoin the race – but at the back of the field. With laps running it seemed the balance of yachting power Ultimately the Italian edge, honed
out, she was unable to claw her way higher than 11th. lay with the Italians and Greeks. from sailing together regularly for years,
The second heat was a brief affair. As the green flag went down, The first day of racing followed the decided the outcome.
Tracey dived to the left to avoid a Mini which had stalled on the line form books almost exactly. The Italians The final leg of the last race was
only to clip the inside wing of another car. The collision sliced her led followed by the Greeks and Brits on sailed with the UK and Italy team boats
front outside tyre, so that was the end of the race. equal points having shared the podium overlapping from windward mark to
With a replacement tyre, she took fifth position in the final race of places between them in both races. finish.
the first day. However with Penny Clark starting The final gybe on the finish lay-line
The second day of the meeting was demonstration only – but the to get to grips with the unfamiliar wheel in 25 kts of wind was executed perfectly
competitive spirit was evident: a large number of vehicles left the track (apparently you don’t have them on by the Italians to break the overlap and
rather damaged (thanks not least to a pile-up during the second demo Lasers) the omens were looking better take the race.
which saw eight of the SEGTO cars having to be towed off the course). for day two. The plan for next year is to include
In the first race, Tracey took eighth overall and fourth in class, Alas the wind gods intervened and a practice day which should at least
● The Greeks (in the foreground) chase the Brits and
followed by a victory in the 1450 class (and third overall) in the second the deep low which produced winds provide some comfort to the teams who
Italians during the Seventh Croatian Navy Cup
demo run. Photo: PO ‘Dutchy’ Holland, HMS York in excess of 100kts along parts of the first met each other on the plane over.
NEW 050_NN_Mar.indd 1 19/2/09 12:23:46
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