Good Times For Navy, But Coach Wants Better Performance

Navy's 46-7 defeat of Air Force in the Lt. Col. Kevin M. Shea Memorial Cup on Saturday was a strong signal that the Midshipmen aren't messing around this season under their first-year coach.

After longtime USNA head coach Mike Flanagan stepped down in the spring, the program found a replacement in former Dartmouth head guy Gavin Hickie, who is focused on not only maintaining Navy's hard-hitting reputation but also adding some new wrinkles.

The Irishman's energizing approach was on full display as Navy reclaimed the the sixth annual Shea Cup at the Prusmack Rugby Complex in Annapolis, MD. The game is played each year in memory of Lt. Col. Kevin Shea, who played rugby at Air Force and then cross-commissioned to the U.S. Marine Corps before helping coach rugby at Navy. He was killed in action in 2004 while fighting in Fallujah, Iraq.

In a 10-minute period in the second half, the Midshipmen turned what was a typically physical, tight service academy clash into a runaway.

Air Force never recovered. From the beginning of the second half to 50 minutes past, Navy scored three converted tries and put the game away as a result.


But Hickie figured his team could have done that all day long.

"We're happy with our first outing," said Hickie, who is also the head coach of the Collegiate All-Americans. "We had a number of inaccuracies, which is to be expected for us at this time. There's lots to tighten up and areas that require more accurate execution."


Ball security has been a problem at the highest level for the service academy teams. 

Everyone says those teams are fit and disciplined, but perhaps we should expect more than that for tomorrow's military leaders. In Hickie's mind, the solution lies in his players' attention to detail.


"The whole country knows what Navy are good at," Hickie said. "We are a physical team. While that remains one of our focuses, my challenge here to date has been to try to implement more attacking options."

There's a lot that goes into that, not just "run this play here."

"This is about education on the game, clarity on why we want to do it that way, and then focus on the skill to execute on those options," Hickie said. "It won't come together in game one, but we showed glimpses that we are coming together. I expect us to be a cohesive attacking force come springtime."


RWC Almost Here As Teams Settle In

Paul Mullen: I'm Only One Of 8

The Rugby World Cup kicks off in five days with the host nation, Japan, taking on Russia.

West Coast 7s Teams Set

West Coast 7s 2018 Trop Tries

The West Coast 7s has confirmed the list of teams that will compete at Treasure Island on October 19 and 20.

WPL Round 5 Preview: Pivotal Games On Tap

After Week 4, it's clear who the top dog in the league is, but after that everyone else seems to be pretty even. 

USA Team Picked For Oktoberfest 7s

Corey Jones Fuels NAV Restarts

Phil Greening will lead a USA Men's 7s team at the Oktoberfest Sevens next weekend in Munich, Germany.

Premiership 7s Set For Friday

The Premiership 7s is set for Friday and Saturday with nine of the Gallagher Premiership teams involved.

Four Huge Stars Commit To Barbarian's End-Of-Year Tour

null

Following the intensity of this autumn's Rugby World Cup in Japan, the world's greatest social side, the Barbarians, will be touring to Brazil and Wales to enjoy some good fun and some good footy. 

Leicester Tigers Name Premiership 7s Squad

The Leicester Tigers have named their 12 men for the Premiership 7s this weekend, looking to improve upon their lousy 0-3 performance a year ago. 

Breakout Stars Ready To Build On Premiership 7s Success

Sleightholme Burns Around The Edge

The Premiership 7s is where you'll see next year's starters in action, as players such as Harry Mallinder and Lewis Ludlam become first-team regulars, and the likes of 19-year-old Ollie Sleightholme aren't far away.

Looking Back At WPL Round 4 Action

In Week 4 of the 2019 WPL season, we saw Life West officially establish itself as the juggernaut of the league, Glendale come from behind late, Beantown pull out a defensive struggle, and Twin Cities bounce back in a big way. 

Seven Players To Watch In The Rugby World Cup

Joe Taufete'e Gets A Kiss From The Coach

From a Test match point-scoring stalwart to a World Cup winner, from an Olympic champion to an emblematic leader who transcends sport as well as a fresh-faced rookie, take a look at seven players who could turn out to be the headline-grabbing names of the Rugby World Cup starting in Japan on September 20.