HMA Ships Arunta and Stuart recently participated in a Rugby Union tournament in the port of Busan, the Republic of South Korea, against a local ex-pats team, the Busan Bandits. The port visit was part of Stuart's and Arunta's North East Asia Deployment 2015.
The Rugby 10s tournament consisted of three teams Arunta, Stuart and the Busan Bandits and was held at Haeundae Beach, a popular local beach in Busan.
The tournament kicked off with Stuart and Arunta going head to head. Stuart quickly demonstrated they had skill and power. Arunta's defence was impressive but with only one reserve and the sun burning down, couldn't prevent Stuart from finding gaps and crossing the line to put early points on the board. Arunta continued to defend their line with determination, however Stuart took out the match with an impressive 30–0 victory.
The second match was scheduled to be the clash between Stuart and Busan. However a quick look at the numbers of both Arunta and Busan, namely the lack of reserves, combined with the heat, led to Arunta and Busan combining into one team to take on the might of Stuart. Much like in the first game, Stuart quickly showed their skill and power, getting points on the board soon after kick-off. The combined forces of Busan and Arunta responded by repeatedly attacking their line with some impressive plays. Stuart's defence was simply too strong resulting in a 25-0 win to the Tartan Terror.
Following the two games, presentations were given, speeches were made and post-game festivities commenced. Leading Seaman Rhys Williams was awarded Arunta Man of the Match, and Petty Officer Joshua Tatana Man of Match for Stuart.
Stuart Team Captain, Petty Officer Terry Lucas, said beach rugby in Busan was definitely the highlight of the deployment for all who played.
"I think all would agree it was extremely difficult playing in the soft sand, but it was great fun none the less. Stuart is looking forward to the possibility of a rematch during or around Force Concentration Period," Petty Officer Lucas said.
The event was a demonstration of how Rugby brings nations and people together from across the world. New friendships were made and old ones reforged.
Arunta's Team Captain, Lieutenant Ben Edwards, said it was an experience he would never forget.
"It was the highlight of my deployment and was a perfect example of what Rugby is, what it means, and what it can achieve," Lieutenant Edwards said.