BUINIMASI BOWS OUT WITH A WIN
The Royal Navy finished their Inter-Services Rugby League campaign a win in a closely fought match against the RAF at Portsmouth.
The RAF's Sam Breeze opened the scoring after eight minutes but the Navy hit back through Sean Houghton.
Nathan Barker replied for the RAF but a brace of tries from Josh Coupland put the Navy ahead to finish 12-10 at half time.
After the break, Jamie Birdsall picked up on a loose ball to extend the Navy's lead.
Ben Mellor retaliated for the RAF but with the score tied at 16 all, a period of frustration ensued with two massive hits on Navy players which resulted in Juite Tupua being penalised for a particularly strong challenge.
The Navy racked up more points from Houghton and despite two last-minute scores from the RAF, it was the hosts who won the contest with a drop goal to give them the 29-24 victory.
Royal Navy Logistician Silivenusi ‘B’ Buinimasi paid tribute to the team:
"I couldn't ask for a better finish to my 13 years spent with RNRL. I'm proud of the lads tonight. We digged deep, it was hard. But tonight was not about me."
Earlier in the day during the ladies match, a chip and charge try from Royal Navy captain Sam Alderson gave her side and an early lead against the RAF.
But the Air Force responded by crossing the Navy line five times to win 30 points to 4.
RAF captain Corporal Alice Fisher said it was "amazing" to beat the Navy at Portsmouth: "We held ourselves off a couple of time in defence which made it hard - but we came back and took it to them."
Leading Seaman Sam Alderson, captain for the Royal Navy, said her team was still new and the result reflected that:
"We had parts that were good and obviously parts that were bad and that's just a reflection of who we've got and the time we've had together."
In the day's other fixture, the Academy match ended with a 36-14 win for the Royal Navy.