A recent port visit to Sydney by the United States Navy ship USS Bonhomme Richard provided a perfect opportunity for the Royal Australian Navy's rugby players to showcase their experienced and developing players against an enthusiastic US outfit.
The game was divided into thirds with an amicable agreement made between team delegates to play the best players both teams had to offer in the first third, the second third reserved for developing players and the third to ‘mix it up a bit’.
Under the watchful eye of Warrant Officer (WO) Dave Carter, Navy's Head Coach and Development Officer, the Australians got off to a flying start, crossing the line for the first time in the opening two minutes. An additional five tries and one conversion followed quickly, making it a convincing 32–0 lead when the players headed to the first break.
The second third gave ten new Bonhomme Richard players the opportunity to take to the field and, according to WO Carter, there was no doubting their commitment to tackling at the breakdown.
“These players were mostly Marines wanting a run for the first time and their enthusiasm for the game was infectious,” he said.
The Australians soon raced to a 52–0 lead and crossed the line four more times. The second third finished on a high for the Americans, as their dedication paid off when they crossed under the posts, much to the delight of the crowd - many of whom were families of the visitors. The final score at the end of the second third was 52–5.
In the spirit of the camaraderie between the two nations, the final third saw the two teams mix up their players. This significantly levelled the playing field, resulting in a final score of 67–25. The Player of the Match award went to Able Seaman (AB) Josh Deckart.
WO Carter said he was impressed with AB Deckart's performance all over the field.
“AB Deckart was quick in both decision making and speed across the paddock giving his outside men space and time to make many line breaks,” WO Carter said.
The day was capped of with presentations of plaques to the respective team managers and captains.
Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20131162.