Bootnecks Overcome Gritty East
Inverdale Challenge Round 3
RN East v Royal Marines
Bootnecks Overcome Gritty East to Kick Start Inverdale Challenge Defence
The Royal Marines kicked off their defence of the Inverdale Challenge with a 40-13 win against RN East in Portsmouth. After good wins in Gibraltar and against the Medics in Plymouths the Bootnecks came into the fixture full of confidence, but it certainly wasn't one way traffic.
The game got underway with a real chill in the air, but both teams displayed a real intent to play expansive rugby. The Marines started better, scoring two quick tries and taking a 14-0 lead. Unfortunately, one of the RM props was injured resulting in uncontested scrums for 70 mins, and the Royal Marines having to drop to 14 men for the remainder of the game. Once the game settled down, RN East began to play their patterns and were unlucky not to convert their possession. With their pack carrying well and making the hard yards, they were finally rewarded with a penalty in front of the posts, which they converted. With East in the ascendency, the game was nicely poised at half time. RN East 3 - Royal Marines 14.
After regrouping, the Marines again started fast, but this time they continued to press and dominated the majority of the second half. As players tired and space opened up, the experienced Royal Marines backs were ruthless in their execution, running in 4 second half tries to seal the game. Real credit must be handed to RN East, they didn't stop running and their heads never dropped, and they were rewarded with two second half try's. Full Time RN East 13 - Royal Marines 40.
After a terrible 18 months, this was a fantastic advert for community rugby. The game was played at a high tempo, with bruising collisions and some great scores. The Corps now look forward to a mouth-watering contest against the Fleet Air Arm in December. While RN East look forward to clashing with RN West.