Bristol Bear Trap for Senior Men


RN Senior XV


Bristol Bears

Photo Credit: Aaron Sims
Photo Credit: Aaron Sims
Photo Credit: Aaron Sims
Photo Credit: Aaron Sims
Photo Credit: Aaron Sims
Photo Credit: Aaron Sims

As March rolls in the freshly trimmed down Royal Navy Senior Men's Squad headed north from their training camp in Taunton to face a Bristol Bears Select XV.

The team were eager to entertain under Friday night lights on a fast synthetic pitch at the home of Dings Crusaders and Bristol Bears Women. In the first few minutes both sides took the opportunity to move the ball around as the conditions with still dry and 9 minutes into the game Bristol struck the first blow. With some clever play their scrum half taps and goes quickly and spots a gap behind the Navy defence, a deft chip over the top and their winger scores in the corner, the difficult conversion was made. After Bristol's second try, a slicing run from their full back, the Navy came alive and got on the scoreboard. Scrum Half AB Gar Rees took the iniative to tap quickly from a penaty and the Navy spread the ball wide and fast and Mne Tom Briggs makes a beautiful offload for Lt Rory O'Brien to score. The final score of the first half came off set play with Bristol popping off the top of the line out then spreading the ball wide for their winger to score.

Half time score: Bristol Bears 21, Royal Navy 7.

The lofty ambitions of the Bears side showed as they started the second half in ruthless fashion. With the Navy in the Bears red zone Bristol intercept and go the length of the field, this was quickly followed by some textbook offloads and slick hands for the West Country side to score in the corner. But the Navy were to get in on the action of quick tries and from the kick off replacement forward Lt Mitchell Spencer gathers the ball and carries hard, after a quick ruck Gar Rees chips over the top of the Bristol line for PO(AET) Ben Chambers to gather on wing to score.

With 15 minutes left to play Bristol brought the score to 40 with a driving maul going over the Navy try line from 5 metres out. By this stage the rain had come down and the ball was slick and the teams exchanged scrappy passages of play where they probed into each other's territory. By this stage the game was beyond the Navy but with the Marine Nationale match only 8 days away each man was still fighting for his shirt.  It took a bit of magic by the Bears Out Half to orchestrate the final score of the match as he chipped over the Navy's defence with perfect weight and his winger was able to collect the ball and turn on the after burners to get over the try line one last time.

Final score: Bristol Bears 47, Royal Navy 12.

Full public library of match images by Aaron Sims here

Line Up

1. LET(ME) Ives
2. LPT Priddey
3. LAET Warner
4. AB(D) Hughan
5. MNE Williams
6. MNE Papp
7. Lt Hayler RM (C)
8. MNE Mitchell
9. AB Rees
10. AET Rutter
11. POAET Chambers
12. AET Gott
13. MNE Raumakita
14. MNE Briggs
15. Lt O'Brien RM

16. AET Bick
17. POAET Beasley
18. LA(AH) Watson
19. MNE Richards
20. Lt Spencer RN
21. PO(SET) Wakefield
22. AB(SEA) Lowe
23. AET Rudder
24. LAET Carter
25. LCpl Baker