Royal Marines Win John Inverdale Trophy

The Royal Marines have been crowned as the 2019 Naval Inter Command Rugby Champions.

In the final of the competition in Portsmouth, the Marines beat Eastern Command 39-10 to win the John Inverdale Trophy.

For the Marines, the trophy has returned home after failing to defend the title in last year’s competition.

It took them just over a minute to make their mark on the game. Jerrod Haylor’s speed was too much to handle for the Eastern defence and Mitch Bennett sprinted his way to the line for a try. Cads Caddywould added the try to give the Marines the perfect start to the game.

The kicker added to the score moments later. A pinpoint penalty had the Marines with a comfortable lead of 10-0, but Eastern Command would find a way back into the game.

It was Hall who got the unconverted try after some great running from the Eastern attackers, but it seemed to only spur the Marines on for more.

A superb surging run from Troy Gobey resulted in a Marines score before a devastating team move rocked the defence of Eastern Command.

It was a stunning piece of rugby by the Marines with five men involved before captain Mo Morris finished it off from close range.

At this point, the Marines were up by 22-3 and another Caddywould penalty meant the trophy was within reach at half-time.

John Inverdale Trophy 30012019 Credit BFBS.jpg
The Marines dominated the game from start to finish and reclaimed the trophy they won two years ago.

More tries in the second half finished off the Eastern Command players, with Dunc Duncan and Clarky Clarke getting on the score-sheet.

Despite some consolation courtesy of Hall, the Marines comfortably saw out a 39-10 win.

In doing so, they took home the John Inverdale Trophy.

The competition is named Surgeon John Inverdale, who donated the trophy which the teams play for.

His son, also named John Inverdale, is a current BBC broadcaster and was on hand to witness the game. He is delighted that his father’s legacy is very much alive in the Royal Navy Rugby Union.

He said: “It was terrific. There was some great handling and one or two outstanding individual performances as well.

“When East were down, they could have buckled. It was a much more even game and the odd moment here and there means the game swings.”

The trophy was presented to Royal Marines captain Mo Morris and he was pleased with his team’s performance: “I couldn’t be much more proud of the boys today.

"We didn’t make the final last year and it has been bittersweet for us.

“We had complete faith in our back-line.

"It’s been like that for most of the season. We’ve been working on our offense and it has paid dividends today.”