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November 10, 2011
By SPR Nick Wiseman
AN INJURY to star player AB
Daniel Robertson damaged the
Australian Services Rugby Union
(ASRU) team's chances of chal-
lenging the British Army (BA) in
the International Defence Rugby
Competition (IDRC) final in New
Zealand on October 22.
AB Robertson was one of the three
top ASRU players who suffered game-
ending injuries in the first half of the
It was all down hill from there for
the Warriors as the BA ran away with a
So important was AB Robertson to
the team that he later won one of the
top honours at an awards night held
after the IDRC.
The HMAS Kuttabul sailor was
named ASRU's best forward.
The other key players who suffered
injuries in the game were PTE Ben
Radmall and CAPT Ben Grumley.
Warriors coach CAPT Damien
Cahill said it was a disappointing way
to go out.
"The boys achieved a tremendous
feat in reaching the final, including
victories over both the third [Samoa]
and fourth-placed teams [Tonga], both
of which had numerous internation-
als in their respective squads," CAPT
"Unfortunately, in the final we
started slowly, were decimated by inju-
ry and ran into a red-hot BA side."
Despite having not previously
played at its best throughout the tour-
nament, the BA switched on and hit its
peak against the Warriors.
Heineken Cup player LCPL Chris
Budgen was tremendous up front for
Also among the BA's best play-
ers were all-international back row-
ers GNR Iremaia Boladau, LCPL Joe
Kava and CAPT Mark Lee.
CAPT Cahill said he could not
fault the efforts of his team during the
Simply reaching the final was a tre-
mendous achievement in his eyes.
"It wasn't their day, but to be
proved to be the second best defence
force rugby union side in the world is
something to be justifiably proud of,
especially, as rugby union is so highly
regarded by the defence forces glob-
ally," CAPT Cahill said.
More than a thousand specta-
tors watched the final at Auckland
University in New Zealand.
ASRU qualified for the play-off
after beating Samoa Police 23-10 in
the semi-final earlier in the week and
comfortably accounting for the Royal
Air Force 56-5 in the quarter-finals on
AB Tait O'Sullivan, one of six
Navy representatives in the team, said
he enjoyed the experience of playing
against the world's best defence force
"I especially enjoyed play-
ing against the Royal Air Force and
thought it was our best game," AB
"We really came together well as a
team in that match."
Both the best player award as
named by the players and the team's
best and fairest award were won by
PTE Ben Radmall.
Five ASRU players also featured
in the World 22 side, a notional team
which selected the best players of the
Named in the starting 15 were
ASRU trio SPR Shaun Richardson,
SCDT Tony Luxford and LCPL Joven
Navy representative and ASRU
captain PO Jason Harrington was
named as a reserve, along with CPL
The success of the IDRC was
largely due to the vision and support
of the Chief of Defence Force GEN
David Hurley and ASRU's manage-
The IDRC will be played every
four years, with the next to be held in
England in 2015.
SGT Ben Jones suggested the next
IDRC should be used as a curtain rais-
er to the official World Cup.
Injuries sink ASRU dream
Pool round, October 1:
ASRU 21 d Tonga Defence
Pool round, October
9: ASRU 66 d People's
Liberation Army of China 5.
Quarter-final, October 13:
ASRU 56 d Royal Air Force 5.
Semi-final, October 18:
ASRU 23 d Samoa Police 10.
Final, October 22: British
Army 62 d ASRU 17.
SOME DIRECTION: ASRU coach
CAPT Damien Cahill addresses
his players during half time.
LIKE A WORKHORSE: AB James Smith takes on a British Army tackler during ASRU's loss in the final of the International Defence Rugby
Competition at Auckland University.
Photos: ABIS Lee-Anne Mack
LAST-MINUTE PREP: The ASRU Warriors huddle in the changerooms
before taking to the field against the British Army.
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