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July 14, 2016
Union forces collide
ADF players impress in Canberra test match
Cpl Max Bree
A TORRENT of tries hailed Defence’s thumping
55-16 win over the Australian Police side during an
inaugural rugby union test match in Canberra on
Despite the eventual win, ADF co-captain Lt-Col
Sean Kearns said he didn’t predict the result.
“There was a degree of nerves going in,” he said.
“While there was a positive feeling in camp all week,
we just didn’t know what to expect.
“We knew they were a pretty big side and we were
confident in our own ability – we just didn’t know what
Big hits from both sides followed kick-off as each
team sought to dominate early.
But Defence drew first blood with a converted try in
the seventh minute breaking the initial deadlock.
The Police managed to get on the board with a pen-
alty goal 12 minutes later but Defence quickly followed
with a penalty goal of their own.
Quick hands off a scrum gave Police their first try
that was answered by one from Defence five minutes
A penalty goal to Police rounded out the scoring in
the first half with Defence leading 15-13.
“The physicality in the first five-to-10 minutes
was such that each side was trying to establish its own
ascendency on the fixture,” Lt-Col Kearns said.
Police opened the second half with a penalty goal
before a try to Defence in the 12th minute.
Defence went into high gear with another five unan-
swered tries throughout the rest of the second half,
steamrolling an increasingly despondent Police team.
ADF fly-half LAC Nathan Lalliard credited the runa-
way win to Defence’s game plan.
“We didn’t have a specific ball-player,” he said.
“We played so every person in the team could pass
the ball to wherever we needed it, not just relying on our
“We seemed to make a lot of metres out wide, tier
them out, then cut through the middle.”
Lt-Col Kearns said the Police may have suffered
from having three days less preparation than his side.
“And there’s also our ticker, drive and determina-
tion,” he said.
“The Police haven’t played their equivalent of an
interservice carnival yet and I’m convinced they’ll be a
different opposition in 12 months’ time.”
Leut Kirsti Burtenshaw
DESPITE mixed results on the field, the ADF
Rugby Union Women’s (ADFRU-W) team can
glean many positives from their ARU Women’s
Nationals campaign, played over three days at
St Ignatius, Riverview, in Sydney recently.
Drawing the 2015 championship winners – Sydney
as their first opponents, the first game was always
going to be an uphill challenge. Although the team
went down 35-5, in the second half ADFRU were
largely the better team and there were some
Player of the Championship Capt Alisha Hewett
was formidable in lock and Cpl Nicola Emsley in the
centre was strong on and off the ball.
In the second game of the day ADFRU also went
down to Western Australia 10-0, but the ADF didn’t
make it easy for the team from across the continent.
Strong set pieces and periods of brilliance were a
reflection of the narrow scoreline.
Nine players earned their first ADFRU caps in the
first day of competition and vice captain and Best
Forward recipient Lt Dani Cahill said despite the
scoreboard the team showed excellent potential.
“We are developing into a very strong ADFRU-W
side. Although we suffered some small defeats,
the team is in its infancy and we showed massive
potential,” Lt Cahill said.
This potential was evident on day two when
ADFRU successfully took on the might of the
With strong set piece play and consistent posses-
sion, Victoria were unable to take on the challenge
of the ADFRU scrum or defend the hard running by
the whole team. Tries by ‘Players player’ Cpl Mollie
Gray, Pte Laura Fletcher and AB Vika Pinomi, who
also converted, saw ADFRU come away with a 17-10
Coach WO2 Aaron Callister was exceptionally
pleased to see his team able to join up the moments of
brilliance he had seen in previous games.
“Today’s game consolidated the hard work of the
concentration to date and to come away with the win
was excellent,” WO2 Callister said.
The win saw the team compete for the plate final
the following day against NSW Country. In this game
there were a number of individual stand-outs, particu-
larly from Pte Renee Cross who provided excellent
leadership from half-back and worked hard to recycle
opposition ball. Her quick delivery from the break-
down was a key highlight.
ADFRU-W didn’t come away with the win but
were extremely proud of their fifth place finish.
ADFRU-W now switches their focus to the probable tour to the
US later this year. Follow ADF Rugby on Facebook.
The ADFRU team
contests a line-out
against the Police
side during a game in
Canberra on July 1.
Photo by Cpl Max Bree
Right: Capt Alisha
Hewett fights off a tackle
by the Sydney team
at the 2016 Australian
Rugby Union Nationals
Photo by LS Justin Brown
The ADF women’s rugby union team take on Sydney at Lane Cove.
Photo by LS Justin Brown
Photo by Cpl
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