Strong Performance Not Enough For Women Against RAF


RN Women


RAF Senior Women

Photo Credit: Alligin Photography
Photo Credit: Alligin Photography
Photo Credit: Alligin Photography
Photo Credit: Alligin Photography
Photo Credit: Alligin Photography
Photo Credit: Alligin Photography
Photo Credit: Alligin Photography
Photo Credit: Alligin Photography

A performance that showed that Royal Navy Women's Rugby has come of age wasn't quite enough to secure a win at Ealing against the RAF.

In a match that will be remembered for the Navy fighting back to level the game and challenging the RAF in a way that they haven’t done for years the RNRU Women ultimately succumbed to superior pace and power out wide in a 32-15 defeat.

LH Rose Dixon led her side out to perfect conditions in west London in front of a home RAF crowd who did not realise the talent and intensity that the Royal Navy have developed through an enforced two year break.

Stiff Royal Navy defence frustrated the RAF however they raced into the lead as the Navy Women forced the Air Force to crab across the pitch and use their wings to good effect. The RAF raced into an early lead through unconverted tries from Nicole Burger, Carys Williams and Rhi Walton with only a PO Sam Alderson penalty in response but on just before the half time whistle No 8, NA Jessica Bryan powered through to score on her debut after a period of excellent phase play had brought the Navy within a whisker of the RAF try line. 

The jubilant scenes from the Royal Navy technical area meant that the team were buoyed and full of belief as they left the field at half time and when they returned they continued to exert themselves on the women in sky blue. And on the 49th minute the RAF defence were caught too narrow and ET Sian McLaughlin was put into the corner to level the match at 15-15.

But the RAF Women are an experienced team with stars of their own and although they couldn’t find a way through the middle of the RN defence they regrouped and began to use their strengths, finding space out wide. This led to 3 unanswered to secure the win and break Navy hearts.

Captain, LH Rose Dixon said “I am unbelievably proud of the team performance today, I think we were underestimated by the RAF but we knew what we were capable of. It is a bitter sweet defeat knowing we played so well today.”

The Royal Navy women will take on Guildford RFC next as final preparation to their historic first match at Twickenham against the Army. Although they will begin the final Inter Service match as underdogs the performance against the RAF will force the Army to be wary of their opponents on the 30th of April.


1 Mid Staples (HMS King Alfred)

2 SLt Addis (HMS Westminster)

3 AET Honeybell (HMS Queen Elizabeth)

4 PO McIntyre (FOST)

5 LAET Sondack (NCHQ)

6 ET Bythell (HMS Prince of Wales)

7 MA Musgrave (PSG Portsmouth)

8 NA Bryan (RNAS Yeovilton)

9 SLt Perry (HMS Seahawk)

10 PO Alderson (HMS Raleigh)

11 ET McLaughlin (HMS Prince of Wales)

12 LPT Badger (HMS Sultan)

13 LH Dixon (Imjin Barracks) (C)

14 Lt Ashby RN (846 NAS)

15 Lt Goodwin RN (MCM2)


16 PO Park (PSG Plymouth)

17 AB Addison-Prout (HMS Sultan)

18 Lt Cdr Ives (MOD Abbey Wood)

19 LA Mealy (HMS Queen Elizabeth)

20 Lt Smale RN (HMS Smiter)

21 Lt Critchley-Peddle RN (Wildcat DT)

22 Surg Lt Cdr Maxwell (INM Alverstoke)

23 CPO Staite (RCDM Birmingham)

Full match gallery here