Academy Rip it up against the Peninsula Medics

06 March 2024

19:00 @ Devonport Services RFC

RNRU Academy XV


Peninsula Medical School

After a rainy afternoon, the Plymouth weather cleared just in time for the 1900 start at the Keyham 3G ground as the Academy XV tried to get their season back to winning ways. Several players were returning to the Academy with the senior squad reducing their numbers so the Academy had a strong 25 players following a two-day training camp at HMS RALEIGH.

After a well organised and professional looking Captain’s run and warm up, the Academy side started “fired up” and within a minute a charged down kick from the Peninsular full back was seized upon by Charlie Atwood who showed good pace to convert with a try in the corner. This was converted by Harry Mayes to give a dream 7-point start for the home team.

The next period of the game saw a series of end-to-end drives with possession exchanging rapidly between the sides due to kicks from both. After 21 minutes the Academy opted to keep ball in hand and run out of defence which finished in Freddie Elliot scoring under the posts. Once again converted by Harry Mayes to build the score to 14-0. The gap opened further with a searching 50 - 22 kick creating a lineout drive driven over to stretch the gap to 19 points.

Time for the Medics to get in the game and just before half time they were successful in crossing the line after a well-engineered overlap put 14 over in the corner. Half time score 19-5 in favour of the Academy.

The second half was to start in a similar way to the first with a powerful drive up the middle of the pitch by Charlie Davis leading to fast distribution from the resulting ruck and a score by Robbie Hume to move to 24 - 5.

The ebb and flow of possession continued for the next ten minutes and increasing poor discipline from the Academy pack gave the Medics territorial advantage which in turn led to an attacking lineout 10 metres from the line. A powerful drive ensued with the Medics crossing the line but adjudged to be held up by the referee. The medics were however playing with an advantage so opted for a scrum which they dominated before spreading the ball wide for a score in the corner at minute 60.

Just as the pace of the game was slowing a series of replacements from both sides spurred the game back to life and the Academy picked up the pace with a scrum penalty taken quickly allowing them to cross the gain line and release Ben Charlton to score the try within five minutes of joining the fray.

With great determination this seemed to inspire the medics with a new lease of life who set up camp in the Academy 22 and asked much of the defence until a high challenge from Ben Charlton after a repeated offence made Charlton the example for the whole team as he was given a 10-minute sin bin team sanction. Still the defence stood strong with 14 players until the card was reversed and in minute 73 there was a superb solo break from Rickus Brink to score and take the score to 34 - 10.

As the sizeable crowd moved towards the catering tent to enjoy the superb hospitality provided by the Devonport Services Club, John Tyler spotted a gap when returning a kick and showed his fresh legs and determination to beat the defence and score a final try in the 78th minute to finish the game a 39 - 10 win for the Academy.

With 1 game left of their short season the Academy has demonstrated the depth of rugby talent in the RNRU Community and is growing a reputation for playing fast paced, entertaining rugby against quality opposition. The players are well prepared by the Training Support Group to build experience and recognise talent for the future of RN rugby at the highest levels.

Referee: Steve Bartlett; ARs: Kevin Lewis, Kirk Sheridan.

Academy: J Seviour, C Thurgood, C Davis; L Sutton (VC), C Dalkins; c Laubscher, A Duffield, D Brown; R Hume, H Mayes, F Elliott, C Bull (C), C Black, C Atwood, W Maree.

Replacements: A Lynch, B Charlton, J Moore, V Delainukunawa, Z Johns, R Brink, G Jenkins, R Daughtery, A Parry, J Tyler, D Ronald.

Words by P Moore

Images by Cinnabar Studios.