Maritime Atlantique Rugby Club Visit RNAS Yeovilton
By WO Nic Wilkin, Secretary Naval Air Command Rugby With all the weeks of planning behind us and thanks to the generosity of sponsors Thales, Agusta Westlands, Serco and Sodexho, the Naval Air Command recently hosted the reciprocal visit by LV Marc Battet and his Maritime Atlantique team. At 13:30 the Women 7’s kicked off. The less experienced French team were eager to prove themselves by upsetting the flow of the stronger team from the RNRU(W). Though they were successful early on eventually experienced showed and Captain Paula Bennett-Smith (FOST) led her side to a comfortable 40 – 0 win. All commended the French Women on their grit and determination and are sure that they will continue their development and will soon be playing the XV-a-side game. In the interval between the two matches a display of music and marching by the Royal Marine Band from BRNC Dartmouth entertained the crowd before both sides lined up for their respective National Anthems. The NAC kicked off playing into a mild breeze on a lovely Autumnal sunny day. The early exchanges saw both sides vying for territory and possession with the NAC struggling to deal with a strong French pack and their disciplined mauling game but posing problems through the counter attacking by their back division. This early dominance by the French led to two tries although the gap was kept to a manageable level by two penalty goals for NAC. Half time score was 6 – 10. The second half saw NAC playing with the breeze and the setting sun behind them. This obviously found favour with the Air Command backline and they quickly ran in two converted tries. Although the French responded with a third try of their own they were unsuccessful with the conversion and were now trailing 20 – 15 with just 15 minutes of the match left. With both sides upping their game the final result remained in the balance and although Ecole Navale managed a fourth try it was matched by a third try for Naval Air. The final score was a hard earned, but deserved, 25 – 20 victory for the home side. Captain Stu Moss was presented with the trophy by Mr Tim Hare of match sponsor Thales.