Navy aims for Rugby treble

This article has photo gallery Published on Lieutenant Kirsti Burtenshaw (author), ABIS Sarah Ebsworth (photographer), ABIS Jake Badior (photographer)

Able Seaman Danica Sinclair from the Royal Australian Navy women's rugby team tries to break through the Royal Australian Air Force defence during the Australian Services Rugby Championships held at the UNSW David Phillips Oval, Daceyville, Sydney. (photo: ABIS Sarah Ebsworth)
Able Seaman Danica Sinclair from the Royal Australian Navy women's rugby team tries to break through the Royal Australian Air Force defence during the Australian Services Rugby Championships held at the UNSW David Phillips Oval, Daceyville, Sydney.

Navy hopes to come away with the treble in the Australian Services Rugby Union Championships this month fielding three strong teams in the men, women and 'old salts' categories. 

Navy are the defending champions in the men’s competition while the women continue to develop a strong nucleus of players, and are now genuinely challenging an Army unit previously unbeaten. 

The teams will go head to head with Air Force and Army at Ballymore Stadium on 17 and 23 May.

Despite recent performances Navy will be entering the championships with a 'here and now' attitude and are cognisant that they can not rest on their laurels of 2014 says Navy Men's Head Coach, Petty Officer Julius Tadulala.

“Air Force and Army both have strengths we will need to nullify if we want success," he said.

"Air Force are unpredictable, you can never tell the real strength of their side until you've played them or watched them play. 

Leading Seaman Kerryn Seaborn of the Royal Australian Navy women's rugby union team (blue/white) sprints past Lieutenant Gabrielle Taylor of the Royal Australian Air Force's (pink/blue) defence during the Australian Services Rugby Championships held at the UNSW David Phillips Oval, Daceyville, Sydney.

Leading Seaman Kerryn Seaborn of the Royal Australian Navy women's rugby union team (blue/white) sprints past Lieutenant Gabrielle Taylor of the Royal Australian Air Force's (pink/blue) defence during the Australian Services Rugby Championships held at the UNSW David Phillips Oval, Daceyville, Sydney.

"This year we are playing them first up so they are an unknown quantity."

On the flip side, Navy  know what to expect when they play Army. 

"They shoot out of the blocks and will try to gain the upper hand from the starting arm wrestle. 

"They play on confidence and they will be relentless for the full 80 minutes. 

"Last year we beat them on full time because we remained composed when the game was on the line and we have to play them with patience, composure and confidence in our own team structures to beat them,” Petty Officer Tadulala said.

Navy Women’s player Leading Seaman Kerryn Seaborn echoed the coach's sentiment in regards to the women’s fixtures.

“The girls are really looking forward to it, we’re confident lining up against Air Force," she said.

"We try to work hard on fitness and that normally puts us in a good position but Army is always a huge challenge. 

"They have so many quality players but I think we’re building a really strong core group, and if we play to our full potential, we’ll certainly be competitive,” Leading Seaman Seaborn said.

Obviously the highlight for the players is donning their service jersey and giving it their all to enjoy the sweet taste of victory against the other services, but the significance of the event, nor the location is lost on the players either.

Leading Seaman Daryl Seden from the Navy men’s team said to play for Navy in the Anzac Centenary year and at the iconic Ballymore Stadium is something they will not be forgetting in a hurry. 

"A large number of Navy representatives have gone on to represent the Australian Services Rugby Union team, but for them and certainly for the others this championship will be one to remember," he said.