Cheers Chiefs - Under 23s Lose to Dominant Premiership Academy

Under 23s in action against Exeter Chiefs Academy - © Exeter Chiefs with permission
Under 23s in action against Exeter Chiefs Academy - © Exeter Chiefs with permission
Under 23s in action against Exeter Chiefs Academy - © Exeter Chiefs with permission
Under 23s in action against Exeter Chiefs Academy - © Exeter Chiefs with permission

The Royal Navy Under 23s were met by a dominant, hungry and talented Exeter Academy side last night at the home of the 2020 European Cup Winners, Exeter Chiefs, in their last outing before facing the Army in the Inter Services.

A crowd of 1200 turned up to enjoy the young men of Royal Navy Rugby take on the future Premiership stars and on a clear night and a well kept pitch the conditions promised some fast and free flowing rugby. Unfortunately for the Royal Navy it was the Exeter Chiefs side who were fast, flowing and ruthless.

The first half started brightly with the Royal Navy putting some inital phases of play together, but a turnover to the Chiefs allowed for quick ball and the hosts ran in their first try of the night and a missed penalty by the Navy Under 23s 2 minutes later was an ominous tone for the evening. Despite another 3 tries in the first half for the Chiefs the Navy were matching the physicality and were making the match difficult for the home side. Half time score, Exeter Chiefs - 26, Royal Navy - 0.

The Chiefs were clearly energised for the second half and they showed the club's ruthless streak that has led to so much success at Premiership level. The talented Academy players were using the match to highlight their own credentials and scored 9 tries in the second 40 minutes. There were positives for the Royal Navy though, they held their own at the set piece and continued to try and make chances, which included moments of brilliance from Kane Teear-Bouge which made a sublime break into the Chiefs 22.

Royal Navy Under 23s Head Coach said "The score-line paints a certain picture but as a coach I am looking as to where our systems are at and where we need to improve and further develop towards our main goal of the Inter Services competition. I am extremely proud of the lads for their efforts against a team filled with future Premiership players. They are still buzzing from that experience and so they should be. When you consider we were competitive in the first half and we went 20 minutes without conceding; I couldn't be happier. Some will only see the result but there were some real positives. Bring on the Army!"

The score finished 83-0 to the Chiefs which ultimately highlighted the impressive nature of Sandy Park side. The Under 23s must now regroup and take the positives from the entire season thus far as they prepare to defend their Inter Service title which begins on the 10th of November in Plymouth against the Army.

The match against the Army will kick off at 19:00 at Brickfields and will be preceeded by the Navy Cup Semi Final between HMNB Devonport and HMS Seahawk. Tickets are £5 (£4 for Military ID holders) and are available on the gate.

Royal Navy U23s: R Dingemans (F Marsden 66); J Davis, O Raynor, G Prentice (C Penrose-Toms 66), K Teear-Bourge; K Manson, J Toogood (B Angliss 58); D Cleverley, B Rees, J Johnston (O-Sanders Mortimore 63); D McAdams, A Watson; S Walker, K Leyland-Jones, E Holland.

Exeter Chiefs Academy: W McCarthy (R Weeks 50), W Trewin (W McCarthy 60), B Parsons (capt), I Welch, J Davies (C Levick h/t); H Lidstone (F Honey 46), J Pilkington (F Musgrove h/t); E Pearce-Cowley (D Arthur 53), W Cornish (M Pritchard 53), B Williams (H Wilkinson 53); M Mulcahy (E Battle h/t), A Sheridan; A Thomson (M Osborne 52), W Gibson, J King.

Tries - Sheridan, Williams (2), Davies, Cornish, Pearce-Cowley, Pritchard, Wilkinson, Battle, Gibson, Lidstone, Levick, McCarthy; Conversions - Lidstone (4), Honey (5)

Referee: M Weston

Attendance: 1,200