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Army June 6, 2013
ARMY scored a clean sweep in
the Australian Services Rugby
(ASRU) Championships by win-
ning the men’s and women’s
The Army beat Navy 29-22 in
a hard-fought match at Victoria
Barracks in Sydney on May 18
to claim the ASRU Wg-Cdr John
In the other matches the Army
women ended a two-year losing
streak by beating a combined
Navy-Air Force team 19-8.
The Army men opened their
ASRU campaign by thrashing
Air Force 50-12 on May 16 and
out-lasting archrivals Navy in a
hard-fought decider only three
Army raced to a 14-0 lead
against Navy but trailed 15-14 at
half-time as the sailors clawed
their way back into the match.
Army scored two more con-
verted tries and a penalty goal to
secure a 29-22 triumph.
Inside centre Cfn Jeremy
Nelson, of 6 Avn Regt, scored
two tries in the match and
was one of the players praised
by Army coach Lt-Col Peter
“Cfn Nelson’s second try late
in the second half was the turn-
ing point in the match,” he said.
Cfn Nelson was voted Man of
“It was a very tough game, so
I’m really happy to have scored
two tries,” he said.
The tries were crucial to
Army’s triumph, but the turning
point in the game came when
Cfn Nelson burst onto a pass and
sprinted 60m up field, at a cru-
cial time when Navy had Army
pinned in their own quarter.
His brilliant run pushed Navy
deep into their own half and
lifted the morale of his Army
It took Navy another six mins
to get back into the Army quar-
ter, by which time their player
had come back from the sin-bin.
“I ran a lot of metres in this
game and finished the match lay-
ing on the ground in agony with
a cramp in my right calf-muscle,”
Cfn Nelson said.
Standing 185cm and weigh-
ing-in at 105kg, Cfn Nelson has
made a habit of stampeding over
rival defenders during the past
three years he has represented
Army and also ASRU.
“Victory today is really great,
but next I’m looking forward to
playing in the Defence Rugby
World Cup in the UK at the end
of the year,” he said.
The rivalry between Army
and Navy in rugby is as intense
as the grudge matches between
the NSW Waratahs and the
Last year Army poured cold
water on the Navy centenary
of rugby by edging out their
archrival 33-29 in the ASRU
carnival at Sydney’s Victoria
The triumph provided Army
with a measure of revenge for
their defeat in the 2011 ASRU
carnival when Navy scored the
winning try in the last minute of
Lt-Col Conroy praised all his
players for grinding out a hard-
fought win over a very strong
“I’m really pleased with the
effort of all the players, because
everyone dug deep to deny
Navy’s barn-storming finish,” he
Lt-Col Conroy said the squad
featured 15 new players, who
played with great flair and com-
mitment, a good sign for the
future of Army rugby.
Army vice-captain Cpl Isaac
Harris, of 6 Avn Regt, was the
ASRC player of the series.
THE Army women’s Rugby Union team beat the com-
bined Navy and Air Force team 19-8 to win the Flt-Lt
Margie Quinn cup at Victoria Barracks on May 18.
Team captain Capt Caroline Vakalahi said the match
was about redemption and revenge.
“To these girls, playing Navy-Air Force is our
State of Origin, so we play with plenty of passion and
commitment,” she said.
Capt Vakalahi said victory was sweet after savouring
the bitter pill of defeat for two years straight.
“To finally beat them is an emotional high for us,”
“We fought back from 3-0 at half-time to score the
first try early in the second-half, which is when we really
started to believe in victory.”
Army’s wily scrum half Kelly Boye beat three
defenders to post a very slick try, which she converted
for a 7-3 score-line.
Army scored again 10 mins later when winger Pte
Emma-Lee Wood finished a sweeping backline move-
ment to make it 12-3.
Army struck again 10 mins from full-time when right
wing Sgt Anne Dufficy, of Gallipoli Barracks, scored
under the posts after an electrifying run that left three
defenders sprawled on the ground.
Sgt Dufficy said “we’ve lost to them for the past two
years, so it’s about time we got one over them”.
Sgt Dufficy said the inter-brigade rugby competition
helped many of the new players hone their rugby skills
in time for the ASRU carnival.
“It made the new girls tougher, both mentally and
physically, which was the preparation we all needed to
win here today,” she said.
Army takes title
Men’s and women’s games won in clean sweep by soldiers
OLD BOYS ROMP HOME
THE Army Old Boys scored 10 tries against the
Navy Old Salts in a highly entertaining match that
ended with the pre-determined score-line of 9-9 .
The Old Boys, called the Leopards because
they never change their spots, conceded two quick
tries before striking back.
Army’s top try-scorer and man of the match,
Lt-Col Peter Conroy, said he scored two tries in a
unique game where he shuffled from front-row to
centre and wing.
“It was an excellent team effort, but the real
winner on the day was rugby,” he said.
Lt-Col Conroy, of Army HQ, said the old boys
lifted in effort and intensity because they were
cheered on by a VIP audience that included
former CDF Gen Peter Cosgrove (retd), Cpl Ben
Roberts-Smith VC, and world-cup-winning Wallaby
Hard hitters: Army’s scrum half
Cpl Isaac Harris is tackled by
Air Force players close to the
try line. Inset, Army’s Spr Isikeli
Fukofuka is tackled by Air
Force’s LAC Christopher Schulz
Photos by AB Sarah Ebsworth
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