Sultan Buoyant over Carrier Conquest

15 March 2023

13:00 @ HMS Temeraire



HMS Queen Elizabeth

On Wednesday 15th March HMS Sultan met HMS Queen Elizabeth (QE) at HMS Temeraire for a Navy Cup match. With Sultan having won 2 of their 4 Navy Cup matches and QE only having played one, in which they beat HMS Kent, both teams were set for a good game.

The match started with Sultan kicking off to QE, however QE fumbled the kick off giving Sultan early field position and the game's first scrum. This helped Sultan as they soon found that their scrum was a lot more powerful than the QE’s, and they ended up driving the opposition back 3-4 metres. The ball was played out to the backs with a few pod plays following. The early stages of this match saw both teams trying to establish their dominance with some strong carries from Sultan and some big tackles from QE, however QE’s over eagerness to prove themselves soon led to a penalty to Sultan.

Sultan kicked for touch, giving themselves a good early attacking position just inside QE’s 22 metre line. With a six man line out Sultan took the ball cleanly and soon a driving maul was set up, initially making little progress that built with momentum, and with a few twists and turns Sultan were soon only a couple of metres from the QE try line. The maul seemed to stop momentarily as QE worked to solidify their defence, but Sultan prevailed and soon pushed home to the try line. After all the commotion it was Sultan hooker, David Scoot, who claimed the try, however this was one that all the forwards can claim.

QE went deep forcing Sultan to play from their 22. Sultan soon knocked the ball on handing over possession to QE. The following period consisted of a strong defensive effort from Sultan against a mountain of attack from QE.

This soon led to a penalty to QE who went for a quick tap resulting in QE a few metres short of the Sultan try line. A few pick and goes from the ruck later and the QE Number 9 dived over from close range. 5 apiece after 10.

Then followed a period of very even play with both teams trying to break each other down to find a way to score. However, Sultan’s poor discipline soon led to a series of penalties being given. A line break from QE saw one of their players make it to the Sultan 22, where the Sultan fullback was forced to make a tackle, although not releasing the player in time leading to a penalty and a yellow card for accumulative offences.

QE again decided to go for a quick tap and go with the forwards trucking it up in a great display of pick and goes and pod work which soon led to their Number 5 crossing the line with a great leg drive giving QE the lead with the last play of the first half. The half ended 10 all.

During the break Sultan swapped in all the impact players to try and add a high physically to match for the second half.

Sultan started the second half as they started the first with a few good strong carries. With a quick passage play down the short side Sultan’s Number 10, Jonah Loavatt-McIntyre, found a gap and with an injection of pace, that seemed to even surprise himself, managed to get through the QE defence. However, still having to beat the QE fullback, a magnificent display of footwork saw him past and go all the way under the sticks for a great individual try. The conversion was made by No’ 12, Harry Mayes, giving Sultan back the lead with 30 to play, QE 10 - 12 Sultan.

As the game resumed it soon became apparent that the conditions were making the ball very difficult to handle with several scrums being awarded to both teams. With a deadlock between both teams someone needed to make an impact, and this is exactly what happened. Off the back scrum Sultan replacement scum half made a breakthrough. Although not making it all the way due to excellent scramble defence by QE, he was able to offload to the Sultan centre, Harry Mayes, allowing him a clear run to the try line finishing off a great backs move by Sultan. Mayes added a further 2, to make the score 10 – 19.

The final 15 minutes saw both teams hunting for more points as Sultan were looking for a bonus point try and QE looking to get back in the game. Unfortunately, fatigue was starting to set in for both teams. Despite this both teams were as determined as they were at the start trying everything they could to get through, while putting in big hits on each other. A head injury to Sultan replacement back in the last play left a bitter taste with both teams having left nothing on the pitch. Both HMS Sultan and HMS Queen Elizabeth played an unbelievable game of rugby that both sides can be proud of.

Final score HMS Queen Elizabeth 10 - 19 HMS Sultan.

Man of the Match, HMS Sultan’s Number 5, Jay Donaldson.

HMS Sultan XV: Louis Newton, David Scoot, Ryan Hunter; Cameron Clemson, Jay Donaldson; Jacob Harvey (VC), Scott Lennox, Connor Thurgood; Rhys Owen, Jonah Lovatt-McIntyre (C), Alfie Allen, Harry Mayes, Adam DeRoche, Will Lynch, Tyler Thurston.

Replacements: Jack Johnston, Josh Greenwood, Dylan Roderick, Jack Dyer, Thomas Ashton, Sam Norton-Bailey, Ben Carroll, Ben Phelps.