Navy Sets Sights on RAF after Rectory Victory

10 April 2024

18:00 @ Devonport Services RFC

Senior Men XV


Devonport Services

It was a welcome return for the Navy Men’s Snr XV to Devonport Service’s Recreation Ground, where the hosts have recently secured league promotion for next season. Playing on a heavy pitch after a sustained period of unsettled weather, the RN started the brighter, however a series of handling errors in the greasy conditions gave the early momentum to Services, and with a few missed first up tackles scored a well worked try.

The rest of the half was frustrating from an RN perspective, with some uncharacteristic errors creeping into their play up until the last 10 minutes of the half, where sustained phases of play in the Services’ 22 saw the ball worked wide to Matt Hall on the wing who created something out of nothing, beating several would be tacklers to dive into the corner for the RN’s first score of the game. This seemed to galvanise the team; the forwards began making yards carrying hard into their opposition and recycling the ball well to see flanker Lewis Roxby crash over to score under the posts, giving the lead to the RN at half time.

The 2nd half began much the same as the 1st with Services starting the brighter, going through the phases, making ground before a break saw an easy run in under the posts. The RN made a host of changes, giving the coaching staff the opportunity to observe all the players before selecting the Inter Service squad for the RAF fixture. This gave a renewed impetus, the tempo increased, and the RN really started going through the gears. After sustained pressure, the ball was moved wide for winger Dobson to score.

After the restart, again the RN moved the ball from side to side, tying up the Services defence, affording full back Jake Hanley space out wide to score. The final score came from scrum half Jay Toogood, who, after some great work by forwards darted through a gap, shrugged of several tacklers, outpaced the cover defence to score a great individual try.

After the early frustrations, the RN team soon got into their stride and ran out comfortable winners, Team Captain Jarrard Hayler commented that it was the perfect game in the build up to the first Inter Service fixture, which sees the Navy Men take on their RAF counterparts at Plymouth Albion’s Brickfields stadium on Sat 20 Apr, Kick will be 1300.

Tickets are still available: Navy v RAF 2024 - Albion (

Senior Men: K Beasley (C), J Wright, B Watson; M Scott, E Pascoe; C Mills, L Roxby, R Vakalutukali; W Rigelsford, J Gott, K Teear-Bourge, S Raumakita, K Dobson, B Chambers (VC), R Dingemans.               

Replacements: G Evans, K Allton, T Lindsay, W Scott, D MacAdams, G Wagstaff, B Mallett, J Toogood, D Rutter, J Lowe, J Hoffman, J Hanley, C Duncan, M Hall, A King.                   

Words by O Salmon

Images by Jarrad Hulm and Callum Sanders