Navy Women Weather the Storm with Dominant Win over Plymstock Oaks
06 December 2023
19:00 @ Plymstock Albion Oaks RFC
Womens Development XV24
In a relentless clash between the Royal Navy Women’s Development Team and Plymstock Albion Oaks Women, the elements were an added opponent. The game, battled fiercely at Plymstock’s pitch, was engulfed in horrendous conditions that tested the resilience and skill of both sides. Despite the relentless rain and wind, the Royal Navy Women’s Development Team showcased their prowess, securing a commanding 24-0 victory over Plymstock. It was the kind of night where character is either built and stored for future adverse times or be tested until it breaks, the RN went for option 1 and stuck to their task and played for each other from start to finish.
The game, structured across three energy sapping 20-minute periods, unfolded amid an equally relentless downpour and windswept pitch. From the outset, the Navy team exhibited remarkable cohesion and determination which resulted in two tries for right wing Holly Cole in the first 6 minutes, one of which she converted herself. She showed impressive speed and footwork for both tries and would be a handful for The Oaks in open space all game. The Navy’s defensive prowess proved unyielding, denying Oaks any opportunity to gain a foothold in the game.
The Plymstock team, despite the adverse weather conditions and the relentless pressure from their opponents, fought valiantly throughout the match. Their defensive line stood firm against the Navy’s strike runners, showcasing their own resilience and determination despite the final scoreline. However, they couldn’t stop Cole. Who continued her dream game by scoring her hat trick try.
The fourth and final score of the game was scored by RN fullback Anne-Marie McIntyre who made a break in midfield and showed a great turn of pace to run in from 50 meters plus to dot down under the posts, Cole added the extras.
As the final whistle blew, and those of us who braved the elements headed for the clubhouse (there is no cover at the Plymstock pitch side), the Royal Navy Women’s Development Team emerged victorious with a well-deserved 24-0 triumph. Their exceptional performance in the face of such challenging conditions exemplified their determination and spirit on the rugby field.
In an eye-catching display of skill and finesse, Royal Navy's right winger, Holly Cole, emerged as the standout performer of the match. Despite the conditions, Cole's performance shone brightly. She showcased her attacking prowess by securing a hat trick of tries, piercing through Plymstock Albion Oaks' defence with blistering speed and precision and grabbing herself a 19-point haul on the night.
Coach Sarah Jenkins was quick to praise her squad’s efforts as well as Cole’s contribution, "It was a great team performance in atrocious conditions, and I was impressed with the defensive effort in particular, we fronted up with both backs and forwards putting in some huge hits to keep the big Plymstock team at bay. It was a great learning experience for those players who haven’t played much rugby and they will be all the better for it."
Navy Womans Dev XV: R Staples, C Cabrera, L Honeybell; O Fifita, A Pierce; H Underwood*, F Moore, R Dilmore, E Bythell, C Render, A Davies, M Douglass, M Ellis, H Cole, A-M McIntyre.
Replacements: Y Measley, S Hill.
*Denotes new to Navy Rugby
Words by Paul ClarkImages by Jarrad Hulm.