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July 21, 2011
From Back Page
Let's face it, New Zealanders are
almost as interested in the Melbourne
Cup as Australians. Since the two-
mile race was first held in 1861, hors-
es bred in New Zealand have won the
annual race 41 times.
But the Kiwis are sure to add col-
our to the softball tournament, too,
starting with their fearsome hakas
before games and an ample serving of
140km/h thunderbolt pitches.
The games -- to be held at
President's Park, about 10 minutes'
drive from RAAF Base Williams --
start on October 30. There are sepa-
rate competitions for men and women.
Games continue on October 31,
with the rest day on November 1, and
then resume on November 2.
The Kiwis will compete against
the Australians in those preliminary
matches, but on November 3 the best
of the Australian teams and best of the
New Zealand teams will separate for
their own grand finals.
That night the ADF men's and
women's team of 15 in-form players
each will be named for test matches
against New Zealand on November 4.
There is a bit of history there, par-
ticularly over the past 10 years when
the ADF women and New Zealand
have each won their fair share of
The ADF men, however, have won
just once -- and that was in December
2009 when they beat New Zealand 4
runs to 3 at RAAF Base Williamtown.
The ADF women also won 15 to 2 on
So you can be sure the Kiwis
will have revenge as well as a day at
Flemington on their minds.
FOOTNOTE: The ADSA is keen
to unearth photographs of the early
days of the national titles (the women
started in 1987 and the men came on
board in 1993). So check your photo
albums if you think you can contrib-
For more information, contact Mrs Alicia
Matene on (03) 9256 4057, 0412 576368
Race that stops the softball
Rowers get started
Defence Rowing Association (DRA) took its first
competitive strokes at the 2011 WinTech Racing
Australian Masters Rowing Championships in
Tasmania in early June. The newly formed DRA,
freshly approved by the ADF Sports Council, con-
tested five events at a chilly but spectacular Lake
Barrington course. DRA Coordinator BRIG Alison
Creagh said the team was well supported. "We
successfully competed at the Rowing Masters
Championships with some pretty good outcomes
from people who have only been rowing together for
a short time," BRIG Creagh said. For more informa-
tion about the DRA, email BRIG Creagh at alison.
firstname.lastname@example.org or LCDR Kym Fisher at
Calling all volleyballers
Players are being sought for the Australian Defence
Volleyball Association (ADVA) national tournament
at RAAF Base Amberley from November 11 to 21.
The tournament will consist of a beach competition,
indoor inter-service competition and indoor state/
territory competition. Players will be selected for the
ADVA national indoor and beach teams for a tour
to New Zealand next May. For more information,
contact SQNLDR Jill Basten, Jillian.basten@defence.
He took on
the job is
as a player.
left, in his
CANBERRA fans will get a look on
August 17 at the players who will carry
ADF's hopes to the International De-
fence Rugby competition in October.
The international competition --
against other military -- will be played
from October 1 to 22 in Canberra,
Sydney and Auckland in conjunction
with the mainstream World Cup.
It will be the pinnacle of the sea-
son for the Australian Rugby Services
Union, which has about 60 players
who have been training and undergo-
ing testing under head coach CAPT
That list includes nine Air Force
players -- CPL Mick Wallace, AC
Adam Dahmer, FLGOFF Andre
Holmes, CPL Richard Falkenmire,
CPL Bodine Luscott, LAC Aaron
Lobendahn, AC Darren Bruce, LAC
Chris Tuttiet and LAC Alex Chan
-- who will get their chance to push
their cause for selection in a Possibles
versus Probables internal game in
Canberra on August 17.
This trial will be played at Portsea
Oval at the Royal Military College
It will be a 100-minute game with
four 25-minute quarters.
After the game, the squad will be
pruned to 35 players and the players
will be announced.
In the lead-up to the international
competition, the ASRU will play
three games -- versus Victoria at
Kapooka (Wagga) on September 10
at 3pm; versus Australian Universities
Rugby Union in Melbourne (venue
to be announced) on September 17 at
3pm; and versus Sydney at Victoria
Barracks, Sydney, on September 24
The squad will then be trimmed
to 27 shortly before the international
WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: From left, back: OFFCDT Sarah Hume,
OFFCDT Kate O'Brien, CPL Brooke Saunders and assistant coach
OFFCDT Dan Bligh. Front: SGT Clare O'Driscoll, CPL Rebekah Allen
nd LACW Brimlea Smyth. Inset: FLGOFF Gabrielle Cook, who had to
et back to work straight after the game and missed the presentation. In
airness, we found a file photo of her, though it is likely to be used against
er by teammates who never knew she once played -- shock, horror --
Photos: LACW Kylie Gibson and CPL Aaron Curran
SEVEN members of the resurgent Air Force women's
rugby union team have helped the Australian Services
team win division two of the Australian women's cham-
With Air Force's OFFCDT Dan Bligh drafted as assis-
tant coach, the team clinched the title by beating South
Australia 24-3 in the final in Brisbane on July 5, after beat-
ing Victoria 22-14 and Northern Territory 29-17, and draw-
ing with South Australia 10-10 in preliminary games.
Australian Services Rugby Union (ASRU) head
coach CAPT D.J. Cahill watched two of the games and
was mightily impressed with OFFCDT Kate O'Brien,
who got the best forward award for ASRU -- no mean
feat in a team captained by Wallaroo CAPT Kate Porter
who was also packing into the second row.
"She revelled in the hard work, was technically very
sound, was the No. 1 lineout jumper in the team and had
a work-rate that was second to none," CAPT Cahill said.
"I can genuinely see her going on to captain ASRU
at some time in the future, and I'll be very surprised if
she doesn't earn higher representative honours with the
Wallaroos if she applies herself.
"She's definitely part of a group of young play-
ers coming through who will make up the core of
ASRU in years to come."
This year has been a momentous one for the Air
Force players who could not muster enough players
for a team at last year's ASRU national titles.
This year, thanks to a recruiting campaign, they
had enough for a 10s team -- and unearthed a new
coach in OFFCDT Bligh, who played for the men
last year but stood out this year while he recovers
from a shoulder injury.
Success was immediate. First the Air Force 10s
beat the Navy 10s at the ASRU titles in May. Then
the players joined forces with the Navy to roll the
Army in a full game.
OFFCDT Bligh was appointed ASRU assistant
coach (alongside coach WO1 Joe McIvor) and
seven Air Force players were named in the ASRU
They were not the same seven who took the field
in Brisbane though. FLTLT Margie Quinn had to pull out
because of work commitments. SGT Clare O'Driscoll was
called up, however, so the Air Force balance was restored.
OFFCDT Bligh was pleased with all his players but
was happy to comment on the Air Force women one by
OFFCDT O'Brien: "Super consistent across the paddock."
OFFCDT Sarah Hume: "Played with a truckload of heart, at times
giving away 50kg too her front row opposition."
CPL Brooke Saunders: "Massive prospect at fullback. Often chim-
ing into the line with sniping runs and really giving good direction
to the team from the back."
SGT Clare O'Driscoll: "Solid once again, owning her channel
whether playing inside or outside centre."
CPL Rebekah Allen: "Unfortunately, she was injured in a warm-up
game against Sunnybank. Even though she was not playing, she
was a massive contributor to the winning vibe around camp."
FLGOFF Gabrielle Cook: "Dynamic at the tackle, making every hit
count. Brought great aggression to the pack."
LACW Brimlea Smyth: "Great on the wing. Every time she carried
the ball she would draw two or three defenders."
Eight actually, when
coach is added
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