Anzac ties strengthened on sporting field

This article has photo gallery Published on Department of Defence (author), LSIS Peter Thompson (photographer)

Location(s): Darwin, Northern Territory

Topic(s): HMAS Anzac (F150), HMAS Choules (L100), HMAS Darwin (F04)

Royal New Zealand Navy sailor, Able Seaman Combat Specialist Kyle Butcher, playing for HMAS Choules, makes a break for the try line during a game of touch rugby against HMAS Darwin, at Fleet Base East, Sydney. (photo: LSIS Peter Thompson)
Royal New Zealand Navy sailor, Able Seaman Combat Specialist Kyle Butcher, playing for HMAS Choules, makes a break for the try line during a game of touch rugby against HMAS Darwin, at Fleet Base East, Sydney.

While day-to-day Anzac friendships remain strong between the nations of Australia and New Zealand, on the sporting field it is war.

During the recent maintenance period for Kiwi ship, HMNZS Canterbury at Garden Island, Sydney, the visitors laid down a sports challenge to Australian crews.  HMA Ships AnzacChoules, and Darwin were prepared to face off, and took part in the touch football and indoor soccer round robin.

The six teams proved very competitive across the afternoon, with Darwin and Canterbury edging out the competition and reaching the finals.  While the last game was very close, Canterbury was able to hold out against Darwin, winning both matches 1-0.

Fleet Personnel Officer, Commander Paul Hines, presented Canterbury with the 'International Fleet Challenge' trophy and said it looked like everyone had a great time taking part.

“The re-invigoration of the ‘visiting ships sports day’ produced a competitive and healthy environment that was enjoyed by those that played and those that cheered from the sides,” Commander Hines said.

“These sports challenges are a good way to build lasting bond and friendship through friendly competition.”

In accepting the winning trophies, Executive Officer Canterbury, Lieutenant Commander John McQueen, said the competition helped to build close bonds.

“Thanks to the Royal Australian Navy for hosting us,  it was a good event and it is good to see the Anzac rivalry continues today,” he said.

Following the trophy presentation, the ship’s crests were exchanged to show mutual respect.