Barbarians pushed all the way by Navy
April 7, 2006

The Royal Navy, fresh from a comprehensive victory against the RAF in the first of the 2006 Inter-Service competition took on a Barbarians side at Brickfields Plymouth, to continue the celebration of their rugby centenary.

The day began with some welcome team building activities for the Baa Baas at HMS RALEIGH and an impressive lunch on board the recently re-fitted HMS ALBION for players and committee.

Unfortunately for the Navy the hospitality of the wardroom appeared to have no an adverse effect on the players, who ran out onto Brickfields in front of the pristine new stadium and a crowd of some 4000 with purpose and pride in the rugby heritage of the black and white hoops.

The game started with both sides jockeying for position and early Navy endeavour and pressure converted by team captain Dave Pascoe into a 3 point lead after 3 minutes. The Barbarian experience and quality of play was then brought into sharp focus by absolute text-book passing and support play which released Kenny Bingham for a scintillating break, before linking with Dafydd Lewis on his inside for an excellent try. Four minutes later a great gallop by Cornish prop Wayne Reed, who seemed to have brought his extended family with him into Devon, ended with a try for Danny Thomas, playing on his home ground, that Jonny Ufton converted.

The entertainment continued with two successive flip passes creating an overlap for Nat Saumi on the right and a third try for the Baa Baas. On a roll, and with the Royal Navy increasingly stretched by the sevens style of Barbarian play another length of the field attack was launched finished in some style by talismanic captain Bob Skinstad. With Ufton also converting the last two tries the lead had quickly stretched to 26-3.

To their immense credit however, the Royal Navy showed supreme resilience and determination. Adapting their game plan and working hard to counter the inexorable black and white tide, a number of counters were launched. With Rob Lloyd, Dave Pascoe and Andy Quick all probing the Barbarians defence and the Navy Pack performing valiantly the remainder of the second half ran out in a stalemate.

The second half started with a renewed barrage of Royal Navy enterprise. The dark blue pack started to win the hard yards and increasingly the Baa Baas incurred penalties for transgressions in the tackle, although handling errors allowed the barbarians to clear their lines and keep their lead. The majority of the second half was nip and tuck in the middle third of the pitch, but the deadlock was broken after half an hour by an immaculate break by Jamie Caruana supported by the electric Rob Lloyd who conducted a very impressive carrier deck landing under the posts, converted by Dave Pascoe.

The Baa-Baas failed to add to their score until the closing minute when replacement fly-half Ian Humphreys finished off the scoring. A great break from his own 22 taken on by the forwards and then recycled allowed him to bring down the curtain with a lovely try near the left corner.

Second half honours to the Royal Navy, although the Baa Baas purple patch in the first half saw them hoisting the trophy into the darkening Plymouth evening.

Barbarians: J D G Ufton (Cambridge University); *N Saumi (Plymouth Albion & Fiji), *J Bryant (Newport Gwent Dragons & Wales), *M S Fatialofa (Exeter Chiefs & Samoa), K R J Bingham (Newbury); D G Lewis (Cambridge City), *G D Laidlaw (Jedforest); *W K Reed (Launceston), A J Dalgleish (Newbury), P J Bucknall (Coventry), A Smith (Newbury & The Army), *C C Bentley (Exeter Chiefs), *D J Thomas (Plymouth Albion), R B Skinstad, captain (Richmond & South Africa), *M J Cornish (RAF)
Replacements: G M Davis (Exeter Chiefs) for Reed (61); C C G Ritchie (London Welsh) for Dalgleish (61); B G Luxton (Plymouth Albion) for Smith (50); *N M Burnett (Launceston) for Cornish (55); A C Page (Bedford) for Laidlaw (50); I W Humphreys (Leicester) for Lewis (24)
[* - denotes new Barbarian]
Scorers: Tries - Lewis, Thomas, Saumi, Skinstad, Humphreys; Cons - Ufton (3)

Royal Navy: Rob Lloyd (RMCDT HMS Heron), Mike Slater (HMNB Devonport) Josh Draniniu (HMS Collingwood), Callum McRae (45 Commando) Tom Glover (BRNC Dartmouth) , Jamie Caruana (HMS Monmouth) Mike Beeson (42 Commando) , Carl Saunders (CTCRM) Manoa Satala (HMS Gloucester) Dave Pascoe (capt, RNAS Culdrose), Andy Quick (42 Commando), Dan Parkes (HMNB Devonport) Robbie Roberts (HMS Chatham) , Colin Milkins (RMR Tyne), Simon Burns (HMS Collingwood), Marsh Cormack (RNAS Yeovilton), Anton Fries (BRNC Dartmouth) Jim Hyde (DLO Bristol) , Mark Salama (RNS Yeovilton), Will Pilkington (PWRR Paderborn), Gareth Evans (Stonehouse Barracks) Rhodri Dicks (CTCRM) .
Scorers: Try - Lloyd; Con - Pascoe; Pen - Pascoe
Referee: S Harland (RFU)

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