Home' Navy News : June 7th 2012 Contents 23
June 7, 2012
THE Navy men's rugby team of
rookies came of age with a heart-
breaking four-point loss to arch
rivals Army in the Australian
Services Rugby Championships
(ASRC) carnival at Sydney's
Navy played with great skill and
determination to lead 13-12 at half-
time but fell agonisingly short of a
dramatic come-from-behind victory
to lose 33-29.
After crushing Air Force 42-3
in its first match, Navy appeared
on track to defend the title it won
from Army with a last-minute try in
the 2011 ASRU, but lost its way in
the second stanza before staging a
Despite good scrimmaging
by the sailors, Lady Luck mostly
smiled upon Army as the bounce of
the ball generally favoured them.
Army had two conversions
bounce over after hitting the cross-
bar while two of Navy's attempted
conversions just went wide of the
Navy coach WO Tony Doherty
said bad luck and some missed tack-
les cost Navy the title.
"With nine new players in the
squad, the boys really came of age
in time for the Commonwealth
Navies Rugby Championships
(CNRC) to be played in Sydney in
October," WO Doherty said.
The Navy set-piece play was the
highlight of the match with their
forwards, led by war-horse PO Matt
Hilyard, dominating this facet of the
But as fatigue took its toll late in
the second stanza, the sailors missed
several crucial tackles to allow
Army to race to a 33-24 lead. Navy
scored with five minutes remaining
and seemed poised to turn a 33-29
scoreline into a fairytale victory, but
Army dug in to win.
Navy's best players were No 8
PO Hilyard and MIDN Declan
Maguire, who was named RAN
rookie of the year.
WO Doherty said the Navy play-
ers would be a force to be reckoned
with next year.
"With 12 months' experience
under their belts and having lost a
final by a small margin, it will assist
RANRU to regain the ASRC trophy
in 2013," he said.
The ASRU carnival helped his
squad prepare for the CNRC that
involves the RAN, the Royal Navy,
the South African Navy and the
Royal New Zealand Navy.
IT'S not often a Navy team triumph
reduces Army's players to tears.
In a fitting salute to the centenary of
Navy rugby, the pain of defeat at the
Australian Services Rugby Union
(ASRU) carnival made some of the Army
women weep in despair.
The combined Navy and Air Force
Women's rugby team beat Army 13-5 at
Sydney's Victoria Barracks on May 19.
Navy's victory was secured by
flanker LS Renae Woodward, of HMAS
Cerberus, who scored a try in the first
half and LEUT Sara Mooney, of FFG
System Program Office, who kicked the
conversion and two penalty goals.
LEUT Mooney was named as the
ASRU Women's Player of the Series for
her inspiring performances in attack and
"I am as pleased as I am surprised to
be named the ASRU women's player,"
The lanky flanker played with great
skill and determination against Army's
veteran forwards, while her two penalty
goals snuffed out their desperate fight-
back in the second half.
"I have been playing rugby since
2005 and really enjoy how the game
challenges me mentally and physically,"
Navy's other flanker, LS Woodward,
opened the scoring with a try in the first
half.The six-year Navy rugby veteran
barged over several Army defenders after
a scrum win on the quarter-line to give
her team the initiative and a confidence
"The try was actually more impor-
tant than the five points because it gave
us extra confidence while demoralising
Army," she said.
Coach LCDR Paige Butcher said the
team's defence in the second half was
outstanding, when seemingly exhausted
players miraculously found the energy to
pull off try-saving tackles.
LCDR Butcher said AB Sarah Beard
and LS Nadine Block had strong games
with LS Block's 20m cut-out passes slic-
ing the Army defence to shreds.
Earlier in the ASRU carnival, the
Navy women lost 19-12 to the Air Force
in the Margie Quinn Cup match on May
13. Navy held a 7-0 lead at half-time but
ran out of steam in the last 20 minutes to
lose by a converted try.
Such was Navy's dominance during
the competition, that seven players were
selected in the ASRU team for a match
against the touring British Army wom-
en's team, played at Victoria Barracks on
Navy representatives were LEUT Sara
Mooney, LS Kim Thomson, LS Renae
Woodward, AB Lulu Gray, AB Sarah
Beard, SMN Naomi Curran, and SMN
The British Army won 14-0. A full
wrap of that game will appear in the next
edition of Navy News.
Rookies take it to big guns
ELEVEN players were selected
to face Tasmania in Hobart on
July 14. They are AB James
Smith, AB Tait O'Sullivan, PO
Jason Harrington, SMN Aaron
Louden, SMN Sam Peters,
AB Bryson Madigan, AB Daryl
Seden, AB Nigel Maher, MIDN
Declan Maguire, SMN Alex
Brown and PO Matt Hilyard.
GOING NOWHERE: Army's CPL Fasheena Nevell is tackled by LACW Lucinda Tomlinson as AB Lulu
Gray looks on during the Australian Services Rugby Union Carnival.
Photo: LSIS Brenton Freind
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