Great start to United States tour for the Royal Navy Rugby Union
RN Senior XV
US Naval Academy
On a blisteringly hot afternoon in Annapolis with over 80% humidity the Royal Navy Rugby Union Senior XV kicked off the first game of their USA tour against the United States Naval Academy team. From the immediate start it was all systems go for the Royal Navy side who scored throughout, Jarrad Hayler with a charge-down try in the first 30 seconds. The touring side continued to dominate scoring another brace of tries in the next 15 minutes, firstly by Tom Notman and then with Dave Fairbrother; all the tries were converted by Nathan Huntley. However it was not all one way traffic as for the next quarter of an hour the home side frustrated the tourists who struggled to stick to their game plan. However with the leadership and experience of Edd Pascoe, supported by Harry Collins, the away side soon got back in their stride scoring two quick tries through Greg Loydall and another for Tom Notman prior to half time; again all converted by Huntley. As the referee blew his whistle for half time the Royal Navy were leading 0 - 35.
The second half commenced in the same vein after some much needed rehydration. With two scores in the first 6 minutes of the half with Tom Notman gaining his hat-trick and Eldon Myers getting on the score board. To their credit the USNA team didn’t waiver and continued to attack and frustrate the visiting side for a further 12 minutes. Dan Mason reinstated the Royal Navy pressure as soon as he came on for Scott Makepeace and was rewarded with a try in the 58th minute of the game. Other changes now followed which included Aaron Wilman and Pat Coy making their debut for the Royal Navy. After a clash of heads with each other Dave Fairbrother and Nathan Huntley had to leave the pitch to receive medical treatment. The final flurry came after 69 minutes when another debutant, Brad Janes, scored under the posts after a well worked move. The scoreboard showed 0 - 64.
It was an overall solid first performance for the Royal Navy Senior XV side at the start of their USA tour. Thanks must go to the USNA side who gave the Royal Navy Senior XV a much tougher test than the scoreline might suggest.
K Mason, H Collins, C Robinson, E Pascoe (captain), S Makepeace, S Matavesi, J Hayler, D Fairbrother, C Moore, N Huntley, T Notman, G Loydall, E Myers, B Chambers, R Dimmock-Williams, C Warner, A Wilman, D Mason, L Cooper, B Cook, J Stephen, J Griggs, B Janes, P Coy.
Words by S Ashley
Images Alligin Photography © Scott Taetsch