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March 31, 2011
By Michael Brooke
WITH only seconds remaining on
the clock and only two metres from
the try-line, dummy-half SMN
Kerod Andrewsek was bombarded
with frantic screams from his team-
mates to pass them the ball for one
last crack at Army.
In the next few seconds the Navy
Trident's hooker would emerge as
either the match-winning hero or the
Despite his teammates yells ring-
ing in his ears, SMN Andrewsek saw
a sneaky opportunity to dive between
the legs of the defenders to post the
match-winning try against archrivals
SMN Andrewsek punched the
air with elation as his teammates
embraced their new hero.
The simple conversion kick by
centre AB Chris Tormay lifted Navy
to a well deserved 38-36 victory in the
Combined Australian Services Rugby
League (CASRL) to break a seven-
"It was pretty crazy -- everyone was
calling for the ball but I saw a little
gap and put my head down and went
for it," SMN Andrewsek said.
"It's a great feeling to score the
Navy's courageous victory at
Sydney's Norford Oval on March 11
ended Army's seven-year-long dynasty
as CASRL champion.
"It's pretty unbelievable how the
boys dug deep to come back from
being behind by four converted tries,"
SMN Andrewsek said.
Navy's monster forward pack
paved the way for their defeat of
Army, which seemed to be cruising to
victory with a 36-12 lead with only 20
minutes to play.
The Tridents' Player of the
Tournament, AB Damien Rex, terror-
ised the opposing Army forwards with
huge tackles that often jolted the ball
from their grasp, enabling Navy to go
back on the attack.
AB Rex, who was truly inspira-
tional throughout the match, was well
supported by Navy's other kamikaze-
tackling forwards, with LS Dan
Capilli, AB Matt Docker and LS Kade
Edwards all worthy of special mention.
Navy's halves, AB Mitch Morton
(Man of the Match) and AB 'Benny'
Turuva (CASRL Player of the
Tournament), also played key roles in
the Tridents' great comeback in the
dying stages of the game.
Tridents' Coach Dave Kemp said
he never doubted that Navy would
bounce back from the 24-12 half-time
deficit to beat Army.
"The boys really dug deep to win
this game," he said.
"At one stage we were down to 11
men on the field (two in the sin bin)
while injuries had reduced us to only
two substitutes -- but we hung in there
Rugby League Origin legend Max
Krilich said he had seen some magnifi-
cent games over the years, but Navy's
triumph over Army was "up there with
the best of them".
League drought ends
"Great credit to the team and
the coach for fighting back from a
24-point deficit and a crippling penalty
count," he said.
Mr Krilich said Navy dominated
the match physically early on but gave
away silly penalties which allowed
Army to score a couple of quick tries.
Navy shot down the Air Force Jets
26-10 in their opening CASRL match
on March 9.
Navy posted three consecutive tries
to race to a 16-0 lead before Air Force
posted two of their own to make the
score 16-10 with 30 minutes left on
Navy opened their account through
centre AB Chris Tormay, who scored
near the corner post after catching a
spiralling bomb kicked by five-eigth
AB 'Benny' Turuva.
Second-rower AB Matt Docker
scored five minutes later after a
barnstorming run from lock LS Dan
Struber, who cut the defence to shreds
with a weaving run. AB Tormay was
on target with the conversion.
AB Docker posted his own try
after another powerful run, which AB
Tormay converted from right in front
of the uprights.
Air Force staged a fightback after
half-time but Navy scored two late
tries through fullback AB Kurt Smith
and winger AB Chris Hastings-Ison to
emerge worthy winners and set up a
thriller against Army in the last match.
Man of the Match SMN Mark
Lupton was inspirational in getting
through a huge workload throughout
CASRL Officer Bruce Perry said
CASRL continued to build momentum
for the 2013 tour of the UK which
would give the Aussies the opportunity
to win back the 'ashes' following their
defeat on home soil in 2008.
Navy had eight players selected to
represent the national CASRL side in
TOP EFFORT: AB Daniel Franklin
is chased by his Army opponent
during the final of the CASRL
tournament in which Navy staged
a thrilling comeback to win 38-36.
TEAMWORK: (Inset top) Three
Navy players tackle an Army player
to the ground during the electrify-
BREAK FREE: (Inset bottom) AB
Bobbie Ashman breaks away from
his opponents during the Tridents'
game against Air Force where they
smashed their opponents 26-10.
Photos: LAC Bill Solomou
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