Army V Navy 2007


Book Reviewer
For those who were there and those who were unable to attend:


Six of the best for the Army at Twickenham
9 May 07

For a record sixth time, the Army Rugby Union team lifted the Babcock trophy high to take the Inter-Services Championship Bowl in an exciting win over their hundred year rivals – the Royal Navy - at Twickenham on Saturday 5 May 2007.

Getting stuck in; despite losing, the Royal Navy gave the Army a run for their money at Twickenham
[Picture: LA(Phot) Wheelie A'Barrow]

Skippered by the irrepressible Sergeant Mal Roberts RLC at full back the Army team, celebrating its centenary, opened the scoring with centre, Sapper Peceli Nacamavuto RE, achieving a try in the opening minutes of the game in front of an exuberant crowd of 43,000.

Moments later the Navy roared back with a penalty and a try to take the lead themselves. From there the lead see-sawed back and forth as the teams battled it out for supremacy before the Army pulled away in the final quarter of an hour.

Played out in the warm May sunshine the atmosphere was electric. Chants and cries from supporters of both sides filled the stadium as the play went from end to end. This was the 92nd encounter between the two sides since formal records started in 1905 and the 55th win by the Army. Afterwards Army coach Andy Price said:

"I would like to pay tribute to a tough and talented bunch of players. At the end of the day we are all soldiers or sailors first, so this was a good performance all round."

The Army back row of Lieutenant Mark Lee, Lance Corporal Ledua Jope and Highlander Isoa Damudamu, Royal Regiment of Scotland, all of them Rugby Sevens internationals, laid the foundation for the battle up front. Aided by half backs, Captain James Gill and Guardsman Rob Sweeney, the ball's path was smoothed to centres Private Apolosi Satala and man of the match Nacamavuto who did the damage.

The Army team try to press home their advantage at Twickenham
[Picture: Graham Thomas]

Again and again the Navy struck back with right wing CH Josh Drauniniu scoring two tries, the first from an interception which saw him sprint the length of the pitch for the touchdown. But in the end it was all in vain.

At the 70 minute mark, the score was tied at 25 points all when Nacamavuto pulled out the stops, producing a Sevens style try and the pack doubled the advantage with an unstoppable surge as the Navy finally began to wilt.

Guardsman Rob Sweeney kicked two penalties and converted four of the Army's five tries. In the end, the Navy's style and finesse gave way to the driving brute force and grinding play of the Army Reds.

Final score: Army 39, Royal Navy 25.

Bonne Weekend Tous

Le Chevre
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