Nato Lions RFC v Amatori Napoli RFC

Carney Park, Naples, Italy
25 Jan 2014

Lt Cdr Charlie Neve, RN reports:

To kick start the continuation of the 2013-2014 season after a New Year break NATO LIONS RFC was host to local side AMATORI NAPOLI RFC Saturday 25 January at Carney Park, Naples, Italy. Amatori Napoli is now established as the LIONS’ local ‘sparring’ partner. Their strong association with the LIONS has, in the last few months, grown to include combined training sessions and social events. Both teams had not managed much team or tactics training time prior to the game but this was made up for in enthusiasm and commitment. As a friendly match and training opportunity the game was played over 4 x 20 minute quarters in sunny, cool and breezy conditions.

The first 20 minutes was a combination of long periods in LIONS’ half and missed opportunities by an obviously better drilled Amatori Napoli side. Against the odds LIONS inside centre Lt Cdr Stuart Crombie, RN kicked a penalty to go in the lead but Amatori ended the quarter with a converted try to take a 3-7 lead.

The second 20 minutes followed a similar pattern to the first. However, on 30 minutes of play the LIONS made a lot of changes from the bench and on the field to experiment with positional play. Amatori’s number 11 was very physical in open play and in the breakdown, a very skilful player he was making most of their moves happen. At the end of this quarter, with no addition to the score, Amatori 11 was yellow carded for one transgression too far.

The third 20 minutes was far more exciting. LIONS continued to use the good turnout of players and needed to allow all these players to make their mark on key positions that have seen players depart on postings and assignments away from Naples. The wholesale changes allowed Amatori to continue their earlier pressure and score 2 well drilled tries, making the score 3-17. But LIONS were not beaten yet and on the 60 minute mark Head Coach (and now player) Lt Cdr Mick Cowie, RN got the ball from the fly half about 5m from the try line and managed to force his way over for a score. Crombie converted to make the score 10-17.

The fourth quarter was a match of strength as it seemed to be dominated by scrummages. The backs had little ball to use as the forwards dominated with their scrums. There was no score in this quarter ending the game 10-17 to Amatori.

1.  USN PO Craig Redman; 2. USN PO Dustin Owens; 3. USN Lt Cdr Gary Stevens; 4. USN Cdr John Tolg; 5. USN CPO Andrew Bohnsack;  6. USN Lt Cdr Jeremy Laney; 7. USN PO Edward Johnson; 8. USN PO Kevin Young (Captain); 9.USN PO Dave Greninger; 10. FR(Depen) Stephane Belleguic; 11. USN Lt Eric Paulson; 12. UK(N) Lt Cdr Stuart Crombie; 13. USN PO Ross Massey; 14. USN PO Chris Taylor; 15. UK(Depen) Silas Gardner.

16. UKR (Civ) Valentin Alchysnskiy; 17.USN PO Luis Chavez; 18. USN PO Derek Piotrowski; 19. USN PO Kise Wise; 20. USN PO Quan Soloman; 21. USN PO David Kaufeld; 23. USN PO Ross Massey; 24 USN PO Corey Keating; 25. USN PO David Sells; 26. UK(N) Lt Cdr Mick Cowie. (Head Coach)

Referee: Mr Hein Havenga, (SA)