Royal Navy Beaten Back by the Flames

20 February 2024

18:00 @ USSG Portsmouth

Senior Women XV


British Fire Service

The Royal Navy Rugby Union Senior Women's XV hosted the GB Fire Service women's rugby team at their Burnaby Road base in Portsmouth in a first-ever clash between the two teams.

The Navy claimed the first try with Jess Bryan crossing the line, which perhaps served as a wake-up call for the Fire Service who then began to dominate the line with the Navy giving away numerous penalties.

The Fire Service's Charlie Brunton then levelled the scoreboard at 5 - 5 before half-time.

The Fire Service returned for the second half firing on all cylinders, as Becky Davis darting over the line to finally give them the lead, with Georgie Tricker pulling out a successful conversion for good measure.

With the Navy now 5 - 12 down, they searched for a response to the Fire Service's earlier scores.

That retort came when first-half try-scorer Bryan offloaded to Caitlin Render, as stand-in scrum half courtesy of a yellow card, before making a dash across the pitch towards the line, catching the Fire Service off guard for an enthralling try.

With the Navy now trailing by 2 points, the Fire Service began to take advantage of Navy indiscretions with Rafiuke Taylor and Emily Hird each scoring for the Fire Service as the gap between the two sides widened.

Render managed to get over the line once again for the Navy with a 3-quarter length of the pitch run, but with the clock ticking down to full-time, and at 15 - 26 it was a mountain too far for the home side to overcome.

The game ended with three kicks. A FS penalty. A Navy kick-off. A further indiscretion resulting in a free kick for the Fire Service which they duly booted off the pitch. That was the final nail in the coffin for the Navy as the full-time whistle sounded with a 15 - 29 loss.

Plans are now in place to ensure the Royal Navy women and the GB Fire Service women's fixture becomes a yearly fixture.

The Navy women will travel to Brittany, France, to face their French counterparts Marine Nationale on 16 March before they begin their Inter Service build-up.

Senior Women: R Staples (C), K Gavan, A Baker; Y Mealy, O Fielta; A-M Mcintyre, L Swain, J Bryan; E Bythell, C Goodwin, F Mullet, C Render, S Mclaughlin, H Cole, J Abel.

Replacements: A Beston, R Dilmore, E Thorpe, R Addis, C Wright, A Ashby, D Lumsden.

Words by C Tilley

Images by Cinnabar Studios