Tight One Against the Titans


RN Senior Men


Taunton RFC

The Royal Navy Senior Men have completed their preparation matches with a one try loss to Taunton Titans in a repeat of their opening fixture of the year.

Having trained at Norton Manor Camp, the home of 40 Commando, the Royal Navy Men have become familiar with visits to Veritas Park in Taunton throughout 2022. Wednesday night's match was the second time the Navy have played the home side this season and it was a much more cohesive Navy side than the one that took on Taunton in February.

The scene in Taunton couldn't be more contrasting as the game kicked off in the warm evening glow of mid spring, a far cry from the dark, wet and windy weather previously. A small but vocal crowd were present to witness LPT Ben Priddey score within 3 minutes as he broke off the back of a rolling maul from 5 metres out to give the Navy a 5-0 lead. The warm, dry conditions allowed for slicker handling from both teams and Taunton hit back 10 minutes later as they demonstrated some silky offloading between their forwards to create enough space in the Navy corner, the difference in the match was now a conversion as Taunton took the lead.

The Navy conceded two more tries in the first half to give the Somerset side breathing space. First Taunton replicated the Navy's initial effort with a driving lineout providing their forwards the platform to score in the opposite corner. But worse for the Dark Blue side was the 39th minute try they conceded, the clean break from half way from Taunton punished the Navy's defence who perhaps had thoughts of the half time break.

With this being a preparation match the Navy rung changes from their expanded bench at half time and that provided them the impetus to get back in the match. Replacement scrum half MNE Alex Peterson spotting the opportunity to tap and go quickly from a Taunton infringement to bring the Navy back within 7 points. Navy pressure continued and they were able to perform a carbon copy of their first try to allow Priddey to get his brace, AB Jake Hanley was successful with the conversion to tie the match.

Despite the fight back the National 1 side regrouped to show the Navy that they too can be deadly from a driving lineout and their 4th try in the 63rd minute brought their lead to 26-19. With places up for grabs at Twickenham the 15 Navy players gave their all and were camped in the Taunton 22 for the last 5 minutes but couldn't find a way to score leaving Taunton with a one score win.

Although the Navy would have preferred the win Taunton did the Navy a huge favour by agreeing to this fixture at short noticed and they were excellent opposition to conclude final preparations for the Inter Service decider on the 30th of April at Twickenham against the Army.

Line Up
1 LAET Kye Beasley
2 LPT Ben Priddey
3 LA(AH) Ben Watson
4 LS(HM) John Kirwan
5 Cpl Ed Pascoe
6 MNE Toby Papp
7 Lt Jarrard Hayler RM (C)
8 MNE Rory Mitchell
9 LAET Sam Carter
10 AET Dan Rutter
11 POAET Ben Chambers
12 MNE Seta Raumakita
13 AB (SEA) Jesse Lowe
14 AET Jerome Rudder
15 MNE Craig Duncan

16 LET(ME) Richie Ives
17 LAET Chris Warner
18 AET Connor Bick
19 AB(D) Gav Hughan
20 Lt Mitchell Spencer RN
21 PO SET Ash Wakefield
22 AB Gar Rees
23 MNE Alex Petersen
24 AET Jordan Gott
25 Lt Rory O’Brien RM
26 LCpl Kai Baker
27 AB Jake Hanley