The Navy came from behind to secure a thrilling 29-29 draw against the army at Twickenham.
Bath’s Semesa Rokoduguni scored two first-half tries and set up another to give the Army a commanding 19-7 lead at half-time
A penalty try plus scores from Gareth Rees and Rhys Dimmock-Williams saw the Navy come back to draw dramatically
Bath Rugby’s Semesa Rokoduguni demonstrated his class for the Army, but it was not enough to claim the Inter-Services title as the Navy came from behind to secure a thrilling draw at Twickenham.
For Rokoduguni the game had extra meaning with his father Ilaitia Rokoduguni in the crowd watching his son for the first time in nearly five years.
“My dad was watching, he’s been serving in Golan Heights in Syria and I hope I made him proud,” said Semesa.
“My father, elder sister and a couple of family friends were here, scoring a try in front of this crowd and in front of them is a memorable moment.”
The 28-year-old starred in the opening 40, scoring a pair of fantastic tries while setting up Owain Davies for another as the Army took a convincing 19-17 lead into half-time. Fylde Rugby’s David Fairbrother crossed for the Navy’s first half try.
It looked like the Army would leave the Navy behind at the start of the second period, with James Farrell making it 26-7 after 49 minutes with a stretched-out hand.
Gareth Rees gave the Navy hope, scoring in the corner for 26-12 and Paul Llewellyn’s yellow card also reduced the Army to 14 men.
A penalty try followed shortly after and Jonathon Humphrey’s conversion took the score to 26-19. Rhys Dimmock-Williams finished off an accurate cross-kick and Humphrey’s conversion levelled the score.
Owain Davies and Humphrey traded late penalties and the final whistle meant it was the Navy who would take the Inter-Services title.
Army Team: LCpl Ricky Reeves (Royal Engineers), LSgt Matt Dwyer (Welsh Guards), LCpl Chris Budgen (The Royal Welsh), CSgt Paul Llewellyn (The Royal Welsh), Sgt David Bates (Royal Corps of Signals), Capt Rob Lennox (Capt) (Royal Regiment of Scotland), Cpl Matt Dawson (Intelligence Corps), LBdr Ifereimi Boladau (Royal Artillery) LCpl James Farrell (REME), LCpl James Dixon (Royal Engineers), Pte Jonasa Bulumakau (Royal Regiment of Scotland), LCpl Semesa Rokoduguni (Royal Scots Dragoon Guards), Cpl Gerhard Wessels (Royal Engineers), Rgr Chris Leathem (Royal Irish Rangers), Bdr Owain Davies (Royal Artillery) Replacements: LBdr Peter Austin (Royal Artillery), Cpl Nathanael Titchard-Jones (REME), Capt Allan Whittaker (Royal Engineers), Spr Inosi Laqwkoro (Royal Engineers), LCpl Makulusio Koroiyadi (Royal Engineers), Capt Dom Shaw (Royal Army Dental Corps), Pte Jack Prasad (Royal Regiment of Scotland), Gnr Connor O’Reilly (Royal Artillery)
Royal Navy Team: Sgt Gaz Evans (Cdo Log Regt RM), LA(AH) Ben Priddey (Capt) (RNAS Culdrose), CPOAET John Court (RNAS Culdrose), Musn Edd Pascoe (RM Band Plymouth), LAET John Lamsin (RNAS Culdrose), Cpl Ben Fox (40 Cdo RM), Mne Jarrard Hayler (Plymouth AFCO), Cpl Dave Fairbrother (42 Cdo RM), NA(AH) Cory Moore (RNAS Yeovilton), Mne Nathan Huntley (30 Cdo IEG RM), Lt Matt Bowden RN (Flag Officer Sea Training), Mne Mat Tichias (11 ATTU RM), ET(ME) Sam Davies (HMS Ocean), Mne Greg Welling (1 Assault Group RM), AET Jon Humphrey (HMS Sultan) Replacements: Mne Harry Collins (CTCRM Lympstone), NA(AH) Kyle Mason (RNAS Culdrose), Mne Chris Robinson (CTCRM Lympstone), NA(AH) Ben Watson (RNAS Culdrose), Mne Dom Taylor (42 Cdo RM), AB(MW) Gareth Rees (MCM2 Sqn), AB(D) Rhys Dimmock-Williams (MCM2 Sqn), Log Silvenusi Buinimasi (HMS Argyll)