Choules a cut above the rest

This article has photo gallery Published on CPL Max Bree (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (photographer)

Location(s): Cronulla, New South Wales

Topic(s): HMAS Choules (L100), Health, Fitness and Wellbeing

Sub Lieutenant Zebedee Learoyd evades being tackled during the 2016 Patron's Cup, held at Cronulla Sharks Leagues Club, Sydney. (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
Sub Lieutenant Zebedee Learoyd evades being tackled during the 2016 Patron's Cup, held at Cronulla Sharks Leagues Club, Sydney.

HMAS Choules outclassed a swag of other Navy sides to win the annual Patrons Cup Rugby League Competition in late July at Cronulla Sharks League Club in Sydney.
 
The competition helps Navy Rugby League pick its team and scope new talent.
 
Choules’ team captain Lieutenant Thomas Mackenzie said they fielded some unlikely players.
 
“We had a few guys who’d played league before and they took the lead but we also had a mix of Australian rules and rugby union players in there who were interested in trying a different sport,” he said.
 
“One of the Australian Rules players, Able Seaman Combat Information Systems Jake Ross, was out on the wing. We just kept kicking high balls to him and he scored some quality tries. 
 
“Our other players that deserve a mention are Able Seaman Maritime Logistics Supply Chain Abel Freeman for his solid hit-ups and defensive work, as well as Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Leeroy Franklin for winning the Rex Memorial Award.”
 
Competition favourites HMAS Kuttabul and HMAS Anzac/Waterhen were both beaten by underdogs HMAS Choules and HMAS Adelaide in the semi-finals. 
 
The Choules versus Adelaide grand final was well contested with the scores 0-0 at half time. Some brilliant footwork and hard running from Choules helped them pull away in the last five minutes to finish 16-0.
 
“It was a really physical game. Adelaide had a lot of big players but we got them with some quick ball play,” Lieutenant Mackenzie said. 
 
“At the start it was a bit of a tug-of-war but then we got a couple of tries and started feeling more confident."
 
Lieutenant Mackenzie also finished the competition with the most valuable player title.
 
“I just played my normal game, tried to get involved in most of the tackles and attacking plays, but I was surprised I got it,” he said.
 
Choules
 went into the comp with high-hopes despite their limited preparation time.
 
“It’s always good for one of the ships to win, especially with their busy programs,” Lieutenant Mackenzie said. 
 
“We try to get involved with as many sports as we can while we’re alongside. 
 
“I appreciate the hard working Physical Training Instructors at Kuttabul for organising sporting events such as these and as a passionate Rugby League fan I hope the Patrons Cup continues to grow.”
 
Able Seaman Franklin, of Choules, won the inaugural Damien Rex memorial trophy in honour of Leading Seaman Physical Training Instructor Rex.