Eyes on the Prize by Corporal Sue Beyer

Both 3 and 16 Bdes dominated this year’s Inter-brigade Rugby Carnival, with each gender of the respective teams clashing in finals at Brisbane’s Ballymore Oval on May 5. A late try by the 16 Bde women clinched their win over 3 Bde 12-5, while the men of 3 Bde were too good for their 16 Bde counterparts, winning their final 8-0.

Australian Army Rugby Union (AARU) Team Manager Lt-Col Ashley Cootes said the fourth iteration of the inter-brigade event had expanded to seven men’s and five women’s teams. “There has been a greater support this year from brigade commanders with more teams represented,” he said. “It’s truly showing the potential we have producing a better Army rugby team.

“The brigade rugby competition also has a new team on the field with the Combined Arms Training Centre joining the scrum in the male competition and the women’s competition now playing in a 7s format.” The third and fourth placed teams played off for the Plate, while the fifth and sixth finisher played for the Bowl. The men’s Bowl went to 6 Bde in a stylish display over the 1 Bde team, while both 7 Bde teams took out both the men’s and women’s Plates.

Lt Clare Lawton, of 3 Bde, won the RSL (Queensland Branch) best and fairest player in the final, which was only matched by Pte Apaitia Matalau, of 3 Bde, in the men’s final. It was a special competition for 17 Bde’s coach WO2 Neil Atkins, when the boys let him pull the boots on to play in their game against 1 Bde on day three. “I waited 44 years to play on Ballymore and it meant a lot to me just to get the chance, even though we did lose,” he said.

Commander 1 Bde and President of AARU Brig Ben James said rugby had now moved to its next phase with more than 65 men and women chosen from this competition to attend a training camp and potentially represent Army in the inter-service competition. “The Army representative players will move from here to the team training camp on the Gold Coast,” he said. “The rugby experience the teams will receive from the Army coaches this year while at the training camp will be invaluable and, most importantly, Army Rugby will forge great mateship that will last forever.

© 2017 Australian Army Rugby Union | Website by Fresh Creative | Sitemap | Login