Development team continues to grow


RN Women (Dev)


Havant Ladies

Sarah Jenkins in action
The RN Women’s Development team on the attack
Rachel Carragher tries to avoid the tackle
Right wing, Tegan Morley runs for the line
The RN Women’s Development team celebrate their victory

The Royal Navy Rugby Union Women’s Development team travelled to Havant RFC for their final fixture of the season.  Initially the game went the way of the home side, but as the final whistle blew the Royal Navy side could celebrate a 12 – 24 victory.

The RNRU Women’s Team Management were very grateful to Havant RFC Ladies who stepped in to fill a last minute gap in the fixtures calendar.  So the Women’s Development team season could finish as it started with a game against the Havant Ladies.  This time Havant Ladies had the home advantage.

The game was played over 4 quarters of twenty minutes and the home side definitely capitalised on their home advantage in the first two quarters.  Havant dominated possession, demonstrating their competent ball handling skills, passing swiftly along the line.  The Royal Navy Women’s Development team had to defend hard.  As the ball went out of play, Havant took the line out throw and the Navy team managed to steal the ball to relieve the pressure.  Another attack quickly followed and this time the ball was intercepted and cleared by experienced RNRU Women and Trojans player, Sarah Jenkins.  However as the clock approached 20 minutes, the Havant fly half finally found a way through the Navy defence and touched down for the first try of the match (Havant 5 – Navy 0).

The next ten minutes were also dominated by Havant, retaining possession in the Navy half.  Their determination was rewarded with a second try, and a conversion, stretching the lead Havant 12 – Navy 0.  However the Navy Women were not going to let them have it all their own way.  As the game continued, the Navy Women started to get into their stride.  A period of possession saw them confidently passing up and down the line until the ball made its way into the hands of right wing, Tegan Morley.  She found her pace and found some space, and made a break for the line.  She touched down for the Navy’s first try of the night, and closed the gap Havant 12 – Navy 5.  Rhiann Dilmore couldn’t quite make the conversion as the whistle blew for half time.

Havant started the third quarter with a strong attacking move and again it was the skill and experience of Navy inside centre, Sarah Jenkins, who made the clearance kick after the intercept.  The Navy team made the most of this reprieve and responded with an attack of their own.  Moving forward in support of the attacking player, some quick, accurate passing moved the ball out to the wing and the ball was touched down for the second Navy try, score Havant 12 – Navy 10 with 60 minutes played. 

The Navy side were definitely becoming more of a cohesive side as the game continued.  Lock, Rachel Carragher putting in some superb tackles, halting the Havant advance.  Then the tables turned, and the Navy became the dominant side.  For the remainder of the match they had the majority of the possession, and were able to turn possession into points.  The speed of the backs became the deciding factor and Tegan Morley scored another try, which Rhiann Dilmore skillfully converted for the Navy to take the lead Havant 12 – Navy 17.  This was followed by an epic length of the pitch attacking run for full back Abi Ashby.  In front of her Divisional Officer and Britannia Royal Naval College classmates, she crossed the try line for the final score of the match.  Rhiann kicked the conversion again and the final score was Havant 12 – Navy 24.

This was the final match of the season for the RNRU Women’s Development team and they will be rightly proud of their performance and the clear improvement in their playing skills since their first match back in October.  Many of the players will be going on to train with the RNRU Women’s XV, vying for a place in the Inter Service team.  Good luck ladies.  

Team list: 1. Lucy Honeybell, 2. Charlotet Lacey, 3. Ellen Bloxham, 4. Maria Law 5. Rachel Carragher, 6. Hannah Cole (team captain), 7. Abi Reid, 8. Rhiann Dilmore, 9. Rose Dixon, 10. Izzy Rawlinson (vice captain), 11. Poppy Stillman, 12. Sarah Jenkins, 12, Laura Thrustle, 13, Steph Coles, 14. Tegan Morley, 15. Abi Ashby    

Images: Royal Navy Rugby Union © Keith Woodland